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Parents' perspectives on the implementation of continuity of care at a campus children's center
Alwashmi, Mashaael Othman
Garrity, SarahLongstreth, SaschaPotter, Nina
A campus children’s center currently implements a model of continuity of care in which children remain with their primary caregiver from infancy until they transition to kindergarten at the age of five. Previous research has shown that continuity of care in early childhood care and education is one of the best practices that can support the healthy development of young children in a variety of domains. However, this practice is rarely implemented within early care and education programs in the United States. Successful models of continuity of care are needed to establish a benchmark. Due to the small number of programs implementing continuity of care, there is little research on the implementation and impact of the model. In order to bridge this gap in research, the current study proposed to explore the perspectives, experiences, and thoughts of parents as they participate in the five year continuity of care model at the campus Child care center, here after referred to as the Children’s Center. The current study utilized qualitative methods and a phenomenological case study to describe the parents’ perspectives and experiences in one child care center using a continuity of care model. Focus groups were held to examine the thoughts, perceptions and experiences of parents whose children are enrolled in the Children’s Center. Two major themes were identified including the benefits of continuity of care (the creation of a positive relationship between child and caregiver/teacher, enhanced parent-caregiver/teacher relationship, consistency and family support network and challenges of continuity of care) and the challenges of continuity of care (administrative challenges, transitioning to kindergarten or different system, goodness of fit and limited opportunities to discover new experiences). The findings from the current study may serve as a future model for best practices in early care education. Furthermore, the findings from this study could move the field of child development forward by shedding light on the benefits and difficulties of implementing continuity of care.
Child and Family Development
Master of Science (M.S.) San Diego State University, 2015.
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