Parental expectations for young children: Day care versus preschool

Brent A McBride, Pernell Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine parental expectations for the curriculum content of preschool and day care programs. Subjects were 111 mothers and fathers of three and four year old children enrolled in either a day care or preschool program. Results revealed no significant differences between preschool versus day care parents in terms of expectations for the curriculum content. Analyses indicated that fathers had higher expectations and more favorable attitudes towards instruction in academic and athletic areas than mothers, while both mothers and fathers had higher expectations in academic, artistic, and compliance areas for girls compared to boys. Implications for early childhood programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalEarly Child Development and Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Parental expectations
  • academics
  • early childhood education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics


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