Date of Graduation

Spring 2020


Master of Science in Early Childhood and Family Development


Early Childhood and Family Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth King


A child’s health and well-being is supported by the environment in which they learn and develop. For an average of 36,000 children in Missouri, their environment includes an out-of-home child care program. Child care regulations are designed to protect the health and safety of children in child care. Using a constant comparative method, this study examined the extent to which the child care licensing regulations in Missouri align with the 13 Indicators of Quality Child Care published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This study also examined how effective teachers working in child care programs felt the Missouri licensing regulations were in supporting quality care. This study found that Missouri’s child care regulations only partially align with national best practice recommendations. The study also found that the majority of teachers find the Missouri regulations to be effective in supporting quality care, yet teachers commented that many of the regulations should be updated to better support small group sizes, lower child to staff ratios, or high quality face-to-face training opportunities. The current study discusses implications regarding Missouri’s child care regulations to better support teachers’ and children’s success in early childhood classrooms.


child care, early care and education, licensing, regulations, quality child care, quality early care and education, quality indicators, preschool

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Education Policy | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation | Public Policy


© Catherine Slade

Open Access