A Conceptual Model for Quality in Home-Based Child Care

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodApr 3 2019

The purpose of this brief is to provide a conceptual model for quality in home-based child care that can be used to inform state and local efforts in developing quality improvement initiatives that engage and sustain home-based child care participation. We developed this model to articulate a vision of quality that demonstrates how home-based child care can enhance outcomes for children, families, and providers. The model offers a foundation for improving professional development and quality improvement, building on the strengths and opportunities in home-based child care for facilitating children’s development and providing family support. It also offers new directions for research and measurement strategies that examine home-based child care effectiveness. The model is intended to promote conversations among researchers, policymakers, providers, and other stakeholders about potential steps for updating existing tools, measures, and resources for home-based child care.

Throughout this brief, the term “home-based child care” is used to describe any regular non-parental child care that takes place in a home. The term “family child care” is used to refer to licensed or regulated family child care settings where one provider (with or without additional staff) cares for multiple children and receives payment.