Part-time schedules for children in campus child care centers: a MAUT analysis of challenges faced by administrators
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation explored the concept of part-time schedules for children in campus child care centers as a challenge faced by administrators. A baseline of data was established identifying challenges associated with offering part-time schedules from an administrator's perspective and the relative importance of the challenges to the successful operation of a center. Multiattribute utility theory (MAUT) is presented as an effective approach to decision making in this context as needs of various stakeholders can be quantitatively evaluated to inform change. A sample of nine administrators participated by completing a one-hour interview and a subsequent survey asking respondents to rank challenges faced as a result of children attending their center on a part-time schedule. Demographic information was collected for comparative purposes, and four open-ended questions served to add depth to the study and aid in further understanding the quantified challenges faced by administrators. Results included the identification of 39 challenges faced by administrators of campus child care centers as a result of allowing children to attend on a part-time schedule. Ranked results indicated a clear tug-of-war between carrying out a high-quality level of care and meeting the scheduling and affordability needs of student-parents. Overall, frequently cited challenges of part-time schedules for children in a campus child care context by administrators included communication, finances, transitions, individual differences, and missed opportunities. Implications suggest that when campus child care centers offer part-time schedules of care for children, challenges exist that may threaten the mission of the center and subsequently the children's ability to develop healthy socioemotional skills, a relationship with the environment, and coping skills.
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