Ecological study of child care quality: A call for attention to the cultural context

Dorit Roer-Strier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quality of child care is most commonly evaluated in light of the child's immediate surroundings, namely — family life conditions and child care settings, taking into consideration individual differences among children. This paper, while adopting a broader ecological picture, calls for attention to the importance of evaluating the quality of child care in the light of cultural differences. Examples taken from published literature as well as from the author's personal research, clearly demonstrate that parents from different cultures: (a) draw different lines when evaluating the physical settings of the child (i.e. safety, neatness, order, etc.); (b) differ in their preferences of care giver behaviour, orientation and qualifications; and (c) have different expectations regarding the day care curriculum. It is concluded that each society maintains its own definition of ‘ideal care’, which best relates to its goals and expectations vis a vis child development and socialisation. Thus, it is proposed that: (a) the study of child care systems, should be done in the framework of the specific cultural context of the specific culture under evaluation; (b) existing instruments for assessing quality are at risk of culture bias; and (c) attention should be given to conflicting views of ‘ideal care’ held by parents and child care staff and their possible effect on the quality of care experienced by the child.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Cross cultural variations
  • Cultural context
  • Ideal care
  • Parents' perceptions
  • Quality of care


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