ERIC Number: ED299510
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
A Profile of Caregiving: Life History Interviews of Family Day Care Providers.
Klass, Carol S.
A study was conducted to examine the act of mothering from the perspective of women who chose to work at home full time, as mothers of their own children and as family day care providers of very young children at risk of abuse and neglect. Through life history interviews, the study examined the caregivers' present and past lives, and explored the personal meaning of caregiving for these women. Life history interviews were conducted with 12 women who worked as family day care providers in an early intervention program for children between the ages of 4 weeks and 6 years who were at risk of maltreatment. The results of the interviews revealed that the women found meaning in what appeared to be the simplest acts of physical and emotional caregiving. They defined themselves in terms of relationships, especially mothering, and were exceptionally skilled in caregiving. Their caregiving appeared to be an expression of their religious life, which was embedded in their definition of self. They reported that their families had been extended and enriched through involvement in the caregiving project. Emerging from the life history interviews were five themes that give understanding to these women's lives, the caregiving of young children, and the meaning of caregiving for these family day care providers: (1) identity centered on mothering, caring, and loving; (2) the caregiver as artist; (3) the project's impact on the caregiver's family; (4) religion as the center of the caregiver's life and project involvement; and (5) caregiving as compensatory. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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