Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Child and Family Studies


Alice S. Honig


Childcare Issues, Childcare Selection, Quality Childcare

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This exploratory study examined mothers' experiences and satisfaction with childcare selection. The self-selected group of mothers from 30 different childcare settings in three Midwestern states participated in the study. Similarities and differences with mothers' experiences when selecting childcare were analyzed by three household status groups: 110 (Group One) employed mothers married to or partnered with another employed adult in the household, 61 (Group Two) employed mothers living with no other adults in single-income households, and 26 (Group Three) employed mothers living in single-income households with one or more unemployed adults. A majority of mothers in each household group reported using licensed care settings regardless of household income, mothers' educational level, or having reported a greater number of problems when seeking childcare. The highest level of education for most single mothers was a high school diploma or GED compared with a college degree reported by most mothers in multiple-income households. Most mothers in each household group reported learning of their care setting via word-of-mouth, and of family being their most important source for learning of early childhood information. Single-income household groups with unemployed adults reported the highest number of children in care, the youngest children in care, and a greater number of males than either of the other two household groups. Mothers in single-income households reported a higher percentage of "Feisty" temperaments for children in care than did mothers in multiple-income households. Household income was not significantly related to mothers' primary and secondary choices of care when quality of care was rated as low, medium, or high in accordance with National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards.


Open Access