Committee Chair

Bernard, Hinsdale; Meece, Darrell

Committee Member

Freeman, John; Wingate, Kimberly


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


National organizations have indicated that it is best practice to monitor the development of children in childcare agencies. Many childcare agencies do not heed this advice. An exploratory study was completed using mixed methodology with 136 childcare agencies in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Center-based childcare and family/group agencies were examined. These groups were further divided into childcare agencies and family/group agencies that use and do not use assessments. Quantitative data were gathered via a survey to examine various characteristics of the two types of childcare agencies: number of students in the agencies, participation in the STAR Rating Program and most recent score, funding for agencies, accreditation from national organizations, education of directors, and longevity in the early childhood profession. Additional information was gathered from agencies that do use assessments to identify training procedures and purposes for data collected. Qualitative information was gathered from interviewing directors and direct-line providers in regards to perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of using or not using assessments. Some patterns were identified. Of the agencies surveyed, center-based agencies are more likely to use an assessment to monitor the development of children. One hundred percent of agencies that were funded by outside dollars (United Way, grants, Department of Education) and accredited by a national organization use assessments. Of the agencies that participate in the STAR Rating Program, the majority do use assessments. For center-based directors, longevity as a director, increased experience in the early childhood field and a higher educational degree, appeared to be associated with the use of assessments. This was not true for family/group agency directors; use of assessments declined. Interviews that were completed supported many of the statements indicated through the survey. A little discrepancy surfaced among the direct-line staff in their perception of how well they felt they were trained to use assessments. There was agreement that the use of assessments do help when having conversations with parents and planning classroom activities. One recommendation from this study was that an assessment be created that would resonate with the Tennessee Early Learning Developmental Standards and would be free of charge to childcare agencies.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Child care


Hamilton County (Tenn.)


Tennessee's Child Care Report Card system; Tennessee early learning developmental standards



Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xii, 131 leaves





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