Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Family Consumer Human Development

Committee Chair(s)

Shelley L. K. Lindauer


Shelley L. K. Lindauer


The purpose of this study was to examine children's perceptions of their alternative child care environment without constraining thought processes or suggesting appropriate answers. The Child Care Game Assessment (CCGA) was developed to meet these goals. The CCGA is a role-plating, game-like assessment for preschool children. It uses a model of the child's alternative care environment and allows children to act out portions of a typical day.

The CCGA was administered to 57 four- and five-year-old children attending non-parental child care. Twenty-one children (11 boys and 10 girls) attended Utah State University's Child Development Laboratory, a 10-hour-per-week preschool. Twenty-one children (10 boys and 11 girls) participated in a full day child care centers, and fifteen children (12 boys and 3 girls) attended state-licensed, full-day home care settings.

The CCGA provided a factor score that reflected each child's perceptions regarding several areas of child care. These factors yielded a "contentment" score that measured how children liked attending their alternative child care environment. Results suggested that children generally liked attending alternative child care. They viewed care providers as an important element contributing to their contentment.

Children are the primary consumers of alternative care and their perceptions concerning child care were imperative. They furnished convergent data regarding their preferences at child care and gave important information regarding child care practices.

The CCGA appears to provide useful information regarding children's perceptions of alternative child care. Parents and child care providers can use this information to provide children with better alternative environments by noting interactions and providing child-centered activities.