Predictors of Parent Engagement Based on Child Care Providers’ Perspectives

Aileen S. Garcia, Dipti A. Dev, Virginia C. Stage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Determine the predictors of child care providers’ parent engagement regarding child nutrition in child care centers (CCCs) and family child care homes (FCCHs). Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Child care centers and FCCHs. Participants: Child care center directors (n = 337) and FCCH providers (n = 1,153) completed a self-administered survey. Main Outcome Measures: Fifteen variables were examined as predictors for parent engagement: providers’ perceived barriers to communication, participation in Go Nutrition and Physical Self- Assessment in Child Care, National Association for the Education of Young Children accreditation, participation in Quality Ratings and Improvement Systems, feeding practices, and professional development. Analysis: Structural equation modeling examined the relation between variables for CCCs and for FCCHs. Results: For CCCs, NAEYC accreditation, providers’ perceived barriers regarding parents’ cultural beliefs about food, parents not liking the taste of healthy foods, and parents prioritizing other food-related topics over healthy eating significantly predicted parent engagement. For FCCHs, participation in Go Nutrition and Physical Self- Assessment in Child Care, perceiving parents to be busy, not wanting to offend parents, and practicing family-style dining were significantly related to parent engagement. For both CCCs and FCCHs, professional development regarding child nutrition was related to parent engagement. Conclusions and Implications: Focusing professional development on child care contexts and addressing providers’ perceived barriers may improve parent engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)905-912
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2018


  • child care
  • child nutrition
  • childhood obesity prevention
  • parent engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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