Earlier this year Aalborg Kommune asked parents with children in the care of municipal kindergartens (børnehaver) and nurseries (vuggestuer) – together these two are called ‘daginstitutioner’ or daycare centers – and childminders (dagplejere, which are individuals licensed by the state to provide care to up to four children under three years of age in their home) about their satisfaction with their child’s care. Overall, 91% of parents reported being satisfied with their child’s care (50% were ‘very satisfied’ and 41% ‘satisfied’). The proportion of ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ parents was very small – less than 3%. These results are fully in line with the positive study results from 2012. Across nearly all parameters, Aalborg’s results were better than the national average.
The areas that parents ranked the highest in relation to their total satisfaction with care were ‘educational efforts’ and ‘cooperation with daycare center staff/childminders.’ Issues regarding conditions, such as the physical environment inside and outside the care facility as well as lunchtime meals, for example, were less important to parents’ overall levels of satisfaction. Thus, one can say that the ‘soft’ areas were more important to parents than the ‘hard’ areas. One of the factors that the study identified in relation to further quality work is the involvement of parents. Parental involvement has long been a topic of importance for children between 0 and 5 years, and it is included as one of the four important themes in the kommune’s development plan ‘Daycare for the Future.’
All daycare center and childminder districts have received their own individual reports with parental ratings and open comments. They will bring these up in staff meetings and with parents’ committees and discuss what can be done to maintain and/or improve the care they provide.
Response rate: The survey is conducted every 3 years. This year a total of 5,856 parents responded to the survey, representing an overall response rate of over 64%. The response rate by parents with children in daycare centers was 67%, while that of parents with children in the care of childminders was 56%. This represents a very high participation in the survey – in comparison, the overall response rate in 2012 was only 35%. The increase can be partly explained by new digital means of communication made available in 2014 – MinInstitution in daycare centers and Digital Post for parents with children in the care of childminders. Through these digital services, the survey could be distributed and answered more easily and efficiently than by paper.
The survey was not extended to private daycare centers or childminders. One comment to the Kommune’s Facebook post of this story was, roughly, ‘we chose to put our child in private care because we were not happy with the pladsanvisning process (process of being placed in a care facility)/supply of childminders. If you really want to have a study that suggests ways to improve, then ask people why they have chosen not to use the public system.’ Interesting point.
The above is a rough translation (done by me, with the help of Google Translate) of the executive summary of the longer survey report. To read the actual report (in Danish) and see more detailed results, including easy-to-understand graphs, click here.