Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say: Terminology Agnosticism in Child Care Questionnaires

Research BriefSep 1 2013

Drawing on a literature review, cognitive testing, and feasibility testing completed for the DesignStudy, this Brief discusses three topical areas where terminology has often been used, but where we recommend jargon-free alternatives. For each, we offer evidence that the traditional terminology can be unclear, as well as suggestions for plainly-worded questions that capture the constructs without facing the same challenges of interpretation. These topics are: the mode of child care (e.g., family day care or child care center); the provision of home-based care that is privately arranged with friends, family members, and neighbors (commonly referred to as family, friend and neighbor care); and payment of fees and receipt of subsidies.