Publication Date


First Advisor

Dominique Moyse Steinberg

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Study Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School for Social Work


Qualitative, Early childhood intervention, Therapeutic nursery program, Preschool, Relationships with caregivers, Caregiver experiences


The purpose of this qualitative exploratory study was to increase our understanding of caregiver experiences whose children use the services of early-intervention programs. The primary value of this study is a better understanding of caregiver perceptions of program aims (how they understand the program), program impact (what they feel or believe it has done/ is doing for them), and program relationships (how they view their family’s relationships with staff). The goal was to add to the limited body of literature on the therapeutic nursery programs by seeking to better understand overall caregiver perceptions and experiences of one such program located in Rockville, Maryland. To that end, this qualitative study focused on the experiences of caregivers related to this particular TNP, an early-intervention program that serves children aged three to five with social, emotional, and behavioral struggles and that offers related services and support to their families. The most compelling finding of this study suggests that a family’s personal history and past experiences with other childcare institutions are inextricably woven into their experiences of the Therapeutic Nursery Program, while also informing their beginning expectations of the program. Study implications suggest the need for funding for longitudinal research on this TNP, and comparison research between TNP’s across the United States to understand the variables and mechanisms that make this program effective.


©2017 Jaimie Tyler. Access is limited to the Smith College community and other researchers on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.




iv, 84 pages. Includes bibliographical references (pages 68-72)