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Abstract

The present study used a subsample of 450 children from the ECLS-B data set to examine longitudinal associations between multiple features of nonparental care at age 2 and socioemotional development at kindergarten entry, taking into account parents’ attitudes and behaviors, family composition, poverty status, and child characteristics. Specifically, we examined care type, hours, observed quality, and changes in those features from age 2 to age 4. Controlling for baseline behavior and demographic covariates, results of multiple regression analyses suggested that caregiver sensitivity, parents’ attitudes and behaviors, poverty status, nonrelative care, and hours of care predicted socioemotional development at kindergarten entry. Moving from nonrelative care into center-based care and increasing care hours from age 2 to age 4 were associated with decreases in socioemotional development. Results from this study are discussed in relation to findings from other nationally representative studies of early childhood, along with potential implications for practitioners and ideas for future research.

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