Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Nancy Walters


This study explored the low retention rates of childcare workers at a military child development center in the northeast United States. The purpose of this case study was to explore the work experiences of childcare employees during their first year of employment at a child development center to discover the factors that influenced their decision to resign. The conceptual framework that guided this study was a 2-factor approach of motivator and hygiene factors associated with experiences and perceptions. Transcripts from interviews with 15 current and prior childcare workers and management team members were coded, triangulated, and thematically analyzed. The themes developed from the interview data revealed key factors that contributed to childcare workers' positive and negative work experiences, such as pay and benefits, professional development and training requirements, and lack of support for novice childcare workers. The results of this study led to a position paper recommending that stakeholders implement a 3-day mentoring program to address the issue of resignation among first-year childcare workers. The mentoring program could lead to social change by increasing positive work experiences, knowledge base of first-year childcare workers, and worker retention rates at military child development centers.