Family day care and the centrality of child care, a modified grounded theory approach

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Mager, Brenda Leah
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The study analyzed interviews with eighteen FDC providers in rural and urban Manitoba. Seventeen participants were licensed and held a membership in either the Manitoba Child Care Association (MCCA) or Family Day Care Association of Manitoba (FDCA). One participant was unlicensed and chose not to join a professional association. Using modified grounded theory methodology combined with feminist research perspectives, four themes were identified. The "centrality of child care" was identified as the main theme and related to the other themes. This theme stated that all women purposefully made child care a dominant role in their lives. FDC offered women the best opportunity to care for their children while earning an income. Despite this, FDC primarily increased work/family stress. The thesis study also found that the contradictory support providers received was based on their own and others' acceptance of the social norm which predominately places women as child care providers. This led to them being socially and economically exploited. This study found that as home workers, family day care (FDC) providers are socially and economically exploited. These experiences are a product of the undervaluing of caring work and the view that FDC is a private arrangement between parents and providers. Only when child care is viewed as a collective and social responsibility will providers experience less exploitation. Child care policy that supports the licensing of FDC providers is one way child care can be assigned a social responsibility. To gain public support and recognition, child care licensing requirements and regulations need to be increased. To encourage women to license, economic and social incentives are needed. Government supported initiatives offered through licensing will also reduce the exploitation FDC providers experience. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)