In an effort to address these broad issues, we pose five specific questions:

In an effort to address these broad issues, we pose five specific questions:

3. Associations between cumulative observed home quality and child adjustment at 36 months, controlling for site, mother education, income-to-needs, mother psychological adjustment, child gender, percent time in centers, hours in care, and child care quality.

Table 7

Notes: Equations also include maternal ratings, income to needs, gender, HOME total score, maternal stimulation, average hours per week in childcare, number times in center care, number times in child care home.

Thus, a variety of factors must be considered if we are to determine whether associations between child care quality and children’s developmental outcomes are large enough for parents, researchers, and policy makers to care about, and whether effects warrant public or private expenditures to improve quality.

The Observational Record of the Caregiving Environment (ORCE) was developed to address these limitations (NICHD Early Child Care Research Network, 1996, in press-a). Because psychological theory and research have indicated the central role of experiences with caring adults for children’s well-being and development, the ORCE focuses on this domain. Both time sampled behavioral counts of caregiver actions (e.g., responds to vocalization, asks questions, speaks negatively) and qualitative ratings of those behaviors over time to characterize caregivers’ behavior with individual children are collected during a minimum of four 44-minute observation cycles spread over a two-day period. At the end of each 44-minute cycle, observers use 4-point ratings scaled from 1 = “not at all characteristic” to 4 = “highly characteristic” to describe caregiver behavior. A positive caregiving composite score is created by obtaining a mean score across scales over all of the ORCE cycles at a given age period. Read More In an effort to address these broad issues, we pose five specific questions: