Daily experiences of toddlers in three child care settings in Israel

Research paper by Miriam K. Rosenthal

Indexed on: 01 Feb '91Published on: 01 Feb '91Published in: Child & Youth Care Forum


This paper compares the characteristics of users and care-providers, the experiences generated by the educational environment, and the toddlers' own behavior in three types of out-of-home care in Israel. No differences were found between family day care (FDC) and Centers on most caregiver characteristics, in the educational program, or in the educational quality of the physical environment. Although caregivers in Centers offered poorer quality interaction and the emotional tone of the program was less relaxed than in FDC, no differences were observed in the children's behavior. The Kibbutz child care rated highest on all “structural” indicators of quality: small groups, adult-to-child ratio, education, training and experience of caregivers, and physical environment. Although no differences were found between Kibbutz and FDC in the behavior of caregivers, Kibbutz children engaged more frequently in both positive learning experiences and social behavior than did FDC children. The analyses support the contention that it is thequality of the educational environment rather than thetype of child care that determines the differences in “learning experiences.” However, none of the observed dimensions of the educational environment was able to eliminate the differences found between Kibbutz and other types of day care settings in predicting the toddlers' “social behavior.”