School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Joseph F. Fontanella


childcare, at-risk children, quality, early childcare education




The purpose of this causal-comparative study was to determine whether there is a difference in the type of childcare center that at-risk children attend. Scholars have noted the importance and long-term benefits of providing quality early childhood education for at-risk children, but limited research has been conducted on where at-risk children attend childcare. A random sampling method was used to recruit programs from the 689 New Hampshire childcare centers for this study. A questionnaire was administered to determine the percentage of at-risk children that attend each of the five childcare program types: license-exempt, licensed center, licensed family provider, licensed-plus, and accredited. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) statistical analysis was conducted, Shapiro-Wilks test was used to test the assumptions of normality, the Levene test evaluated the assumption of equal variance, and a box-and-whisker plot identified extreme outliers. Results from this study show that there is not a statistically significant difference in the percentage of at-risk children attending different childcare program types. However, findings indicated there was a difference in the type of childcare facility that accepted at-risk children, with licensed and license-exempt facilities tending to be more popular among families of at-risk children. This study highlighted the need to allocate resources equitably among different childcare programs so that at-risk children can benefit.

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