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Family Engagement and Family-Sensitive Caregiving: Identifying Common Core Elements and Issues Related to Measurement

Published: October 15, 2011
Child Care
Child Care and Early Education Policy and Research Analysis Project, 2005-2018 | Learn more about this project
Quality Initiatives Research and Evaluation Consortium (INQUIRE) Briefs

As policymakers and program administrators work to enhance the quality of early care and education settings, there is renewed emphasis on examining specific domains of quality that align with sought after outcomes for children and families. This shift is in part due to recent research that has documented significant, but small associations between current measurements of high quality care and child outcomes.

One quality domain of interest to program administrators and Quality Rating and Improvement System developers focuses on the relationships between families and providers. High quality family-provider relationships have been hypothesized to affect both child and family outcomes. However, there are multiple perspectives on family-provider relationships (e.g., family engagement, family-sensitive caregiving, family-centered care, parent involvement), each one unique in its emphasis, conceptual model, and targeted outcomes. Consequently, though a number of measures of family-provider relationships exist, each of these measures tend to assess concepts unique to the conceptual model upon which it was based.

Last Reviewed: April 29, 2019