Child care choices: Factors that predict a match in mothers' child care preferences
There were several issues investigated in the present study: (a) what factors are most important to mothers in choosing child care; (b) the relationship between marital status, income, education, prior child-care seeking experience and finding a match to preference of child care; (c) child-care factors that are most common in not obtaining a match, and (d) the opinion of mothers on how readily available good child care is in their community. A 19-question survey was administered to 37 mothers who were graduate and undergraduate students at WSU, living in the Prairie Woods Home Addition, or employed at the Sedgwick County Special Education Cooperative Office who have sought child care for a child within the last two years. These mothers overwhelmingly were able to secure child care of their preference for their child. There were no differences found in child-care choices among the mothers due to demographic differences. They reported that quality of the child-care program, quality of the facility or home, and warmth and friendliness of the provider were the most important factors in a child care. Interestingly, the factors of cost, location, and/or hours of operation or flexibility of child care were not top factors in finding a child care for the mothers from this sample. The findings suggest that more research needs to be done on the opinions and feelings of mothers with less education or income.