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Validity of the PICCOLO tool in child care settings: Can it assess caregiver interaction behaviors?

Childcare quality has been investigated widely over the past 30 years, as increasingly more evidence has emerged that shows that children's developmental outcomes are influenced by the quality of care that they receive in group-care settings. The current emphasis on quality-improvement ratings in childcare provides a unique measurement challenge to ensure accountability for the care of our young children, with a noticeable lack of attention to caregiver interactions with children. The purpose of the current study is to investigate an easy-to-use measure that might address this oversight. The Parenting Interactions with Children: Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO) tool has been shown to be reliable and valid for use with parents and was used in the current study to determine whether the PICCOLO, when used to observe caregiver-child interactions in group-care settings, is correlated with other common measures of childcare quality, including the family of Environment Rating Scales (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised (T. Harms, R.M. Clifford, & D. Cryer, 2005), the Family Child Care Rating Scale-Revised (T. Harms, D. Cryer, & R.M. Clifford, 2007), or the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale-Revised (T. Harms, D. Cryer, & R.M. Clifford, 2006).and the Arnett Caregiver Interaction Scales (J. Arnett, 1989). Two hundred seven providers were observed for a mean of 2.87 hr (172 min). Results indicate that the PICCOLO is a valid tool to measure caregiver interaction with children in a childcare situation. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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