The State of Childcare: Exploring Childcare Center Directors' Perceptions on the Past, Present, and Future


  • Tracey Hoffman



Childcare, directors, early childhood, preschool


The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine childcare directors’ perceptions of the state of childcare centers throughout southwest Ohio. Seventeen directors were surveyed regarding the changes they have witnessed over the past decade, and how they envision the future of childcare. The results indicated that the childcare field has experienced many challenging issues such as, teacher retention, a lack of professionalism, and an increase in children’s behavior problems. In addition, directors discussed the need for higher pay to attract (and keep) qualified teachers. With added requirements from Ohio’s quality rating improvement system, programs were feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The COVID-19 pandemic also put a significant financial strain on programs, however, some directors believed that the pandemic helped to recognize the importance of childcare. The article concludes with recommendations for the future, and strategies to address the concerns discussed by the directors.