A comparison of two types of infant day care in Winnipeg and Toronto
Cooper, Mary Lynn
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The effect of the type of infant day care and the stringency of legislation regarding infant day care was studied in supervised family day care and centre group care in Toronto, Ontario and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The ABC Checklist (Honig and Lally, 1973) was used to measure infant-caregiver interaction (N=73) and an Environmental Checklist was developed to evaluate the physical set-up of the care arrangements (N=45). Questionnaires were received from 47 caregivers and 65 care receivers indicating satisfaction with and preference for their infant day care arrangements. The eight clusters of behaviors in the ABC Checklist were analyzed and showed significant (p<.05) differences within stringency of legislation and type of care arrangement in 12 of 24 t-tests. Analyzing the 40 individual categories of the ABC Checklist 34 of the 160 t-tests showed significant (p<.01) differences in caregiver infant behavior within stringency of legislation and type of care arrangement. In both above sets of analyses the direction of the differences was inconsistent. The chi-square statistic was used to analyze differences between the four experimental groups in the 11 categories of the Environmental Checklist. Twelve of the 44 chi-square tests showed significant (p<.05) differences between stringency of legislation and type of care arrangement but the direction of the differences was inconsistent. The apparently ambivalent reactions of the care-givers and care receivers regarding satisfaction with the preference for the infant care arrangement made statistical analysis inappropriate. The study did not provide support for the proposition that where more stringent legislation is present a higher quality of care is likely to be available.