The health of female child care providers: implications for quality of care

J Community Health Nurs. Spring 2007;24(1):1-17. doi: 10.1080/07370010709336582.


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the health behaviors and perceived health status of child care providers. Health behaviors and health status were also examined in relation to caring for children and the providers' perceptions of quality child care. A researcher-developed questionnaire, adapted from Williams, Mason, and Wold (2001), was mailed to a random sample of 1,000 child care providers employed in 49 child care centers in Georgia. Results indicated that, overall, the sample was a healthy population with 86.8% rating their health as good to excellent. Seventy-three percent (73%) received a physical exam annually, and 70% reported having health insurance. Despite these ratings, participants reported that they were overweight, were emotionally strained, and did not engage in physical exercise at least 3 times per week. Although most performed breast self-exams, the majority did not fully understand breast health practices. Furthermore, the majority of the child care providers (78.7%) believed that their health does not impact the care that they provide to children. Last, their definitions of quality of care for children suggested a minimal standard of care or less. These findings provide information that can be useful in designing occupational health programs within community child care settings and in promoting healthy behaviors in women.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Child
  • Child Care / standards*
  • Child Day Care Centers*
  • Community Health Nursing
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Georgia
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Life Style
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Occupational Health
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women, Working / education
  • Women, Working / psychology*
  • Women, Working / statistics & numerical data