Dr Ann Clare

Email: ann_e_clare@yahoo.co.uk

Supervisor: Professor Cathy Nutbrown

Title of Thesis:

Children under three in Group care settings: A study of children´s experiences and adults perspectives


The experience of young children in day care remains an under researched area. This study was led by the following questions:

  • What are the experiences of children under three in group care settings?
  • What are the perspectives of the adults involved?

The study contributes new knowledge to understanding children´s experiences of group day care through an investigation of fifteen children under the age of three in group care settings over a period of four years. It also examines the perspectives of the adults involved; parents, managers and staff. The study presents narrative cases studies of children´s experiences by using observational data to present four case study narratives of children in group care settings and one of a child cared for at home by his mother. The case study observations are analysed using different methods: diary form, cohort overview, a monthly account and two using a Framework for analysis which was developed as part of the study. The findings raise questions about the grouping of children in age cohorts, the knowledge and skills of the adult in interacting with children and in challenging their learning, relationships between parents, practitioners, and the crucial role of the manager in leading a day care setting.

Ann´s Phd was awarded in June 2008