Date of Award


Degree Name

Family and Consumer Sciences


College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Mary Jo Graham

Second Advisor

Robert Bickel

Third Advisor

Bob Angel

Fourth Advisor

Leonard J. Deutsch


The increased use of childcare in the United States has drawn attention to the choices parents make pertaining to childcare. Professionals in the field of early childhood education have begun to question the methods parents use for choosing childcare. Questions arise about the ability of parents to detect quality in early childhood education settings. Ninety-eight parents in an urban area of Southern West Virginia were included in a sample that explored parents’ agreement with quality criteria defined by professionals in the field of early childhood education. Participants completed a 28-item survey, which provided information on demographics and consistency between parents and the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) accreditation criteria. Upon completion of data collection, the survey was coded, and data was analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple logistic regression, and ordinary least squares multiple regression. Results of the survey indicated that no independent variables available could be used to form relationships between parents’ understanding of quality or their agreement with quality criteria established by NAEYC. Parents agreed with some but not all surveyed quality criteria. Results did indicate that parents who utilize childcare while working are more likely to choose an accredited childcare center, and families with more than one child in need of care are less likely to choose an accredited childcare center. This study raised questions about the need for parent education that focuses on criteria of quality early childhood education.


Day care centers – Standards.

Day care centers – Accreditation.

Early childhood education – Standards.