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Observed Engagement as an Indicator of Child Care Program Quality
Ridley, S. M., McWilliam, R. A., & Oates, C. S.
From the abstract: "This study investigated the quality of child care programs based on what children do while they are in these programs. Observing engagement is one method of measuring the effects of child care environments. Engagement refers to the amount of time children spend interacting with the environment in a developmentally and contextually appropriate manner. Group engagement was measured by repeatedly counting the percentage of children engaged in child care classrooms from two different licensing levels. Results showed that engagement levels were related to independent measures of program quality. Furthermore, engagement levels differed as a function of licensing level. Policy Implications. Observation of group engagement is an effective and unique measure of program quality. The group engagement measure not only discriminates between levels of quality; it focuses directly on child behavior and child experience offering a much- needed supplement to global and teacher-related measures. Observation of group engagement is both uncomplicated and expeditious, making it an ideal measure for use by licensing personnel as well as child care staff."
Ridley, S. M., McWilliam, R. A., & Oates, C. S. (2000). Observed engagement as an indicator of child care program quality. Early Education and Development, 11(2), 133-146.