Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Maryanne Longo


Few family child care providers attain accreditation in the research state and little research existed as to why family childcare providers make the decision to participate or not in National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation (NAFCC). The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore perspectives and experiences of family childcare providers, in the research state, regarding the decision-making process related to their participation in NAFCC Accreditation. The conceptual framework consisted of both andragogy and growth mindset; guiding the research questions to explore providers’ perspectives and experiences about the decision-making process related to participating in quality improvement initiatives and how providers approach the decision to participate in high-quality improvement initiatives, as related to the Growth Mindset theory. Participants were determined from a random sample of all licensed family childcare providers and all NAFCC accredited providers in the research state. Data were collected from one-on-one interviews with 15 licensed family childcare providers in the research state: 10 without NAFCC Accreditation and five with current NAFCC Accreditation. Inductive attribute and in vivo coding was used in data analysis. Findings indicated the need for professional development to be reflective of participants’ individual growth and development needs; clarification of requirements as a motivator for improvement; participation that matches providers’ personal timing, finances, and purpose; and how awareness of NAFCC Accreditation is lacking due to state-specific initiatives. Findings may enable stakeholders to more fully support family childcare providers to seek accreditation and attain quality improvement, thus improving availability of high-quality family childcare programs for all families in the research state.