Toddlers' and preschoolers' experience in family day care: Age differences and behavioral correlates

Erin M. Kryzer, Nikki Kovan, Deborah A. Phillips, Lindsey A. Domagall, Megan R. Gunnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


One hundred and twelve children, 56 toddlers and 56 preschoolers, were observed in their family child care settings to determine whether toddlers cared for in settings that also included preschoolers were, relative to the preschoolers, receiving more or less high-quality care and/or whether their functioning at child care appeared to be more or less dependent on aspects of the care providers' interactions with the children. Quality of care was analyzed along two dimensions: sensitive/supportive care and structured care. Four indices of child functioning at child care were examined: integration in social activities, attention, positive mood, and angry/aggressive behavior. Results indicate that toddlers received less sensitive, supportive care than preschoolers in these mixed-age settings and toddlers were less socially integrated and less engaged in activities in the child care setting. Preschoolers displayed increased levels of angry/aggressive behavior relative to toddlers. In addition, associations of care provider behaviors and child functioning were larger for toddlers than preschoolers, suggesting that toddlers were more dependent on caregiver support for more successful functioning in these family child care settings. For both toddlers and preschoolers, care provider behavior and child functioning was generally poorer in settings with more children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-466
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 10 2007


  • Child care
  • Child care homes
  • Family day care

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Toddlers' and preschoolers' experience in family day care: Age differences and behavioral correlates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this