Family experiences of engagement in inclusive childcare programs for toddlers
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Keywords:Family, Engagement, Childcare, Toddlers
Previous research has explored family engagement experiences and practices in childcare programs. The purpose of this study was to explore family members’ experiences related to their engagement in decision-making processes across various inclusive, toddler childcare programs. Five early educators and eight parents participated in the study. Four parents had a child with a diagnosed disability or developmental delays, were at-risk for developmental delays, and/or received speech, occupational, or physical therapy. Eligible early educators participating in the study taught toddlers (18 to 30 months) in a private, faith-based, or university childcare program. A semi-structured interview style was used to collect family participant responses. The early educators’ inclusive practice indicator rubric scores previously collected from the larger grant funded project were used to triangulate data. Through a phenomenological qualitative design, this study gained a better understanding of families’ decision-making experiences, facilitators and barriers that may impact family engagement, and opportunities early educators have provided or not provided to encourage family engagement in inclusive, toddler childcare programs.
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