A Research Agenda for Home-Based Child Care
- This agenda prioritizes research questions that can help the early care and education (ECE) field understand and address some of the systemic, institutional, and community-based factors that perpetuate inequitable experiences among HBCC providers, children, and families, many of whom live in underserved communities. It also prioritizes questions that highlight features of quality that are implemented differently or are more likely to occur in HBCC than in other ECE settings.
- The research questions in the agenda are grouped under the following four topic areas:
- Availability of HBCC, the providers who offer it, and the families who use it
- HBCC provider experiences caring for children and families, and the relationship between quality features and outcomes
- Policy contexts in which HBCC operates, including related opportunities and challenges
- ECE and community-oriented strategies that contribute to HBCC providers’ engagement in quality improvement
- For each question in the agenda, research should examine how characteristics vary both within and across HBCC settings, provider backgrounds, the children and families who use HBCC, and the communities HBCC is provided in. In addition, throughout the research agenda, there are questions exploring the ongoing challenges and pressures faced by HBCC providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- This agenda includes recommendations for four research activities that can help fill gaps and could be carried out through the HBCC Supply and Quality project:
- Analysis of data from the National Survey of Early Care and Education
- A multisite mixed-methods study of HBCC
- Case studies of state and local ECE systems and community-oriented strategies
- Measures development focused on quality features that are implemented differently or are more likely to occur in HBCC
To build the evidence base on home-based child care (HBCC) availability and quality, the HBCC Supply and Quality project developed an equity-focused research—or learning—agenda. The goal of an equity-focused research agenda is to use research to help ensure everyone, especially people from historically excluded and/or marginalized communities, has fair and equitable access to resources and opportunities and the capacity to take advantage of them. The agenda is a proposed set of research questions about how the conditions and systems that affect HBCC and how HBCC providers’ practices and experiences influence positive and equitable outcomes for children and families in these HBCC settings. The agenda encompasses the following topics: (1) the gaps in the knowledge base about HBCC availability and quality, and the research questions that need to be answered to fill the knowledge gaps; (2) research activities that could be conducted at the national, state, and local levels to answer the research questions; (3) recommendations for future research activities that could be conducted as part of the HBCC Supply and Quality project.