A Case Study of Satisfaction Levels with the Use of Child Support Services and Toy Rentals for Parents with Young Infants*

  • cc icon
  • ABSTRACT

    The present study aims to identify how satisfied users are with toy rental childcare support services provided by family support division offices. The users of the toy rental service of the P-city in Gyonggi Province of Korea were the population studied. Surveys were given to 139 parents selected by wireless sampling. The measurement tool was a slightly modified version of surveys used in the past studies.

    The services were highly evaluated in 18 areas across four subcategories of tangibility, convenience, consensuality and kindness of employees. In particular, the users were very satisfied with the employees of toy rental service as well as the physical facilities and annual membership fees. It was also found that tangibility, convenience, and kindness of the employees were closely correlated with the parents' intent to renew membership and to recommend the service. Consensuality was not significantly correlated with an intention to renew membership, while it was correlated with the intention to recommend the service. The highest correlation was found between kindness of the employees and the parents' intent to renew membership, which emphasizes the importance of service education and management. The evaluation of this service provided by the childcare support division was relatively high. The evaluation of the Family Support Division, on the other hand, was high in all categories. It scored high as a suitable place for activities, for an education period, and for awareness of education programs and participation in education programs.


    본 연구는 육아지원을 위한 프로그램 중 장남감대여 서비스와 육아지원실 서비스 및 영유아를 위한 교육프로그램 이용에 관한 만족도를 파악하고자 했다. 이를 위해 선행연구를 토대로 육아지원서비스 만족도관련 변인들 중 장남감대여와 육아지원실 이용만족에 관련된 변인들을 중심으로 설문지를 구성하였으며, 장남감대여 및 육아지원실 이용자 139명을 대상으로 설문조사를 실시하였다. 본 연구의 자료분석은 상관분석, 회귀분석이 사용되었다. 연구결과를 요약하면 다음과 같다.

    첫째, 장남감대여 서비스 만족도는 이용 유형성, 이용 편의성, 공감성, 직원 친절성 하위 영역에서 만족도가 높게 나타났다. 특히 장남감대여에서 직원의 친절성, 시설 및 연회비에 대한 만족도가 높게 나타났다. 둘째, 장남감대여서비스 만족도와 그 다음해 지속이용에 관해서 유의미한 정적 상관관계가 있는 것으로 나타났다. 즉, 유형성, 편의성, 직원 친절성에 대하여 높게 평가할수록 연회비 재갱신 의향이 높아지며, 타인에게 이용에 관한 추천의사도 높아지는 것으로 나타났다. 또한 공감성에 관한 만족도가 높을수록 타인추천의사가 높아졌다. 셋째, 육아지원실 서비스에 관해서는 전반적으로 높은 만족도를 보였다. 특히 육아지원실의 물리적 시설과 유아와 부모가 함께 이용하고 언제든지 이용가능하다는 것에 대해 만족도가 높았다. 마지막으로 영유아를 위한 교육프로그램에 관해서는 교육활동 장소, 교육 기간, 교육 인지도, 교육 참여도에서 만족도가 높게 나타났다.

  • KEYWORD

    장난감대여 , 가족지원실 서비스 , 교육프로그램 , 만족도

  • Ⅰ. Introduction

    Policies for childcare have been one of the top issues in society since the new Millenium began and a low birth rates started to become a problem. Thus, the policies have focused on how to reduce the burden of child rearing and, as a consequence, encourage to increase child birth with a goal of producing competent human resources to maintain the country's competitiveness.

    The Korean government has designed the 2nd Basic Plan to counter low birth rates and Aging society and prepared the budget of 39.7 trillion Won for the 5 years, of which 7.2 trillion Won would be invested in 2011 according to Ministry of Health & Welfare. Especially, the year of 2013 is the first year of free education for infants and toddlers and the government has prepared enormous amount of fund for the program. Unfortunately, however, parents are not really satisfied, despite the huge investment by the government, and demand various services and support for their children. In particular, support for the children raised at home is in great need. Many parents find it difficult to raise their children at home: they might feel tired because of they lack their own free time, they have insufficient knowledge of child development and child rearing and they do not have enough teaching aids and toys. As a consequence, they either look for an organization to solve the problem of child rearing or obtain some support for their fatigue and insufficient knowledge and information. Thus, it is desirable that support policies be prepared to let them enjoy raising their children.

    Support for child rearing at home would eventually help increase childbirth rate. Thus, careful design of support policies that can encourage to bear more children and reduce their burden of childcare is required. In this sense, we need to establish more Childcare Information Centers. Also, we need to establish a service system that provides and supports part-time childcare to full-time housewives and freelance workers; increased budget, expanded personnel, independent spaces, promotion and reestablishment of the role of the centers(Do, 2012).

    As of the end of 2012, 36.5% of the whole population of the infants and toddlers in Gyonggido province were not using any childcare facility like day care centers or kindergartens: 321,814 out of 881,034. Public organizations and facilities providing support service to those families who rear their children at home include Childcare Information Centers and healthy family support centers. It was reported in Kwon et al.,(2006) that these parents demand education and play programs in which they can participate with their children as well as information on child rearing.

    Baek et al.,(2011) reported that the survey conducted to users of Childcare Information Centers showed that parents ask for play coaching and play spaces as well as toy and book rentals. In the category of consulting, they would prefer to have home visiting. Kim, M.(2013) reported in a recent survey that 94.7% of the subjects agreed to the necessity of the cafe called ‘I Love Mom’, which provides childcare support services.

    The services run by the Gyonggido Childcare Information Center for those who do not use daycare centers or kindergartens include Mom Sharing Center supporting play activities parents and children can do together, consulting and education for parents, toy rental service, family support division for both parents and children where they run a variety of programs of education, play and part-time childcare.

    According to Kim and Song(2012) and J. Song(2012), the most active program run by city Childcare Information Centers is toy and book rentals. These city centers also running the programs of plays, consulting, play therapy, psychological tests and lectures for parent education. Some centers use a rented space outside to run these programs.

    The province of Gyonggido established the cafe called 'I Love Mom' with the goal of providing support services to encourage child birth and reduce the burden of child rearing(J. Song, 2012). The local government arranges, finances and runs a cafe in community offices, welfare lounges, infirmaries and leased apartments to provide support services. A total of 14 revenues were established with manuals to run programs targeted toward infants, toddlers and parents(Gyonggido, 2013).

    Researches on the usage of the toys are examination of toy library(Jang, 2008; Kim, 2013; Dong, 2009), and investigation of parents’ recognition on toy library(Dong, 2009). The research on satisfaction level of toy rental service have not been studied yet. Also, there are researches on the childcare support cafe and other similar functioned facilities(Kim, 2013; Kim & Song, 2012; Song, 2012) but still the researches focused on satisfaction level is hard to find.

    In keeping with such a trend, the current survey of the level of users' satisfaction with the services of a Childcare Information Center is expected to offer a base data and useful suggestions for a systematic operation and optimal implementation of childcare support services. These are the research questions for fulfilling research goals.

    1. What is parent’s satisfaction level for toy using rental service?

    2. What is the relationship between the satisfaction level for toy rental service and re-registration for annual membership?

    3. What is parent’s satisfaction level for using family care support office and education programs?

    Ⅱ. Research Method

       1. Research Subjects and Survey Method

    The present research aims to see how much parents are satisfied with the services of toy rentals and guest lounges in Childcare Information Centers. For that purpose, we collected data through random sampling method from the users of toy rental service in Family Support division of Childcare Information Center. The survey was conducted with 139 parents from August to October 2008.

    The subjects of this reside in the city of Pyeong-teak and they are the parents of child and infants and there are 139 of them who are using the service of toy rental, family support division, and educational programs at Childcare Information Center. The data was collected by survey method and it was given to the parents when they visited center.

    The subject of the study are composed of 139 parents and their general background is described as the table 2 shows. Most of them are between the age of 26 to 35 and the number of the child they have are mostly 1 or 2 almost evenly. For those who have siblings for their child, girls were much more than boys and the age of the first born child is between 1~2years old.

    [

    ] Composition of Respondent (N=139)

    label

       2. Survey Content

    The measurement instrument for this research was invented by the researcher of this study and it is based on the childcare service related studies, it is made of three separate parts which include evaluation of toy rental services, family support division, and educational program. The sub section of toy rental services are service tangibility, service consensuality, kindness of the employee, intent to reuse and recommend; the lower section of family support division are service tangibility, convenience; the sub section of educational program are service tangibility and awareness and participation.

    [

    ] Research Contents of the Survey

    label

    Ⅲ. Research Result

       1. Service Evaluation of Toy Rental Service

    The evaluation on the satisfaction level of the toy rental service and its analysis showed that as the table 3 suggests, overall service score came out to be 4.18 out of 5 which is high in score. Therefore, the parents who rent toys at the center consider the toy rental service as very positive and effective service.

    [

    ] Service Evaluation of Toy Rental Service

    label

    Of the total of 18 items from 5 categories, tangibility, convenience, consensuality, kindness of the employees(M=4.57), the top 3 items were neat and modern facility(M=4.48), affordable annual fees(M=4.46), and prompt service(M=4.46). The lowest 3 items, in turn, were the number of toys to rent(M=2.91), variety of toys to rent(M=3.29), and existence of manuals and instructions(M=3.54).

    This result shows that the users are satisfied with the employees, facilities and membership fees were very high, while the number and variety of toys and instructions for the toys must be improved in the future.

    [

    ] Overall Evaluation of Service Items

    label

    Looking at their evaluation for each of the 5 categories, kindness of the employees was the highest(M=4.44), followed by convenience(M=4.21), indicating a high level of kindness and convenience. A modest rate of M=3.90 and M=3.41 were obtained for tangibility and consensuality, respectively, which might suggest that certain measures should be taken to pay more careful attention to the users and their concerns about damage on the toys.

    The evaluation of the category of tangibility showed a big difference depending on age groups: the highest under 30, followed by 31~35, and over 36, which clearly shows higher satisfaction as the age group was younger.

    As far as the number of children is concerned, the category of convenience was evaluated higher when there were 3 children than 1 or 2. In terms of the siblings relationship, convenience was evaluated to be the highest when they had only one child, while consensuality showed highest evaluation when it was brothers.

    Depending on the age of the first born, it showed great difference in the evaluation of each category of services. In particular, those whose first child is older than 8 showed very high evaluation of convenience, consensuality, and kindness of the employees, while evaluation of tangibility was the highest when the first born was between ages of 1~2.

       2. The Effect of Parent’s Satisfaction Level of Toy Rental Service on the Intent to Renew and Recommend

    The correlational analysis and regression analysis were done for finding the effect of parent’s satisfaction level of toy rental service on the intent to renew and to recommend the service to others.

    1) Correlation

    The result from correlational analysis for seeing the correlation of the toy rental service satisfaction and the intent to renewal came out as the <Table 5> shows.

    [

    ] Correlation of Toy Rental Service Evaluation with Renewal and Intent to Recommend

    label

    The analysis of correlation between intent to renew and service evaluation showed significant positive correlation in tangibility (r=.21, p<.05), convenience (r=.27, p<.001), and kindness of employees (r=.36, p<.001). Significant positive correlation was also found between service evaluation and intent to recommend: tangibility (r=.20, p<.05), convenience (r=.26, p<.01), consensuality (r=.23, p<.01), kindness of employees (r=.29, p<.001).

    Higher evaluation of tangibility, convenience and kindness of the employees were found closely related with their intention to renew and recommend, whereas consensuality was positively correlated with intention to renew, but not with intention to recommend.

    2) Analysis of Influencing Power

    The regression analysis of the effects of service evaluation on their intent to renew, the explanation power was 15.4% and kindness of employees (β=.322, p<.01) played significant influence. Therefore, kindness of the employees had the closest correlation with their intent to renew.

    [

    ] Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Renew Annual Membership

    label

    The regression analysis of the effects of service evaluation on their intent to recommend, the explanation power was 11.4% and kindness of employees (β=.173, p<.10) showed significant influence. Therefore, kindness of the employees had the closest correlation with their intent to recommend.

    [

    ] Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Recommend

    label

    3. Service Evaluation of Family Support Division

    The analysis on the satisfaction level of the family support division come out as the <Table 8> shows. For the category of tangibility, neatness and modern facilities(M=4.37) came out to be most satisfactory category, and cleanliness(M=4.20), convenient use of the facilities(M=4.17), effectiveness of books for parents(M=4.13), and safety check(M=4.06) followed with high satisfaction score overall. The category on the convenience, preference for parents and children's using the service together(M=4.37) was the highest in the score and the other sub categories followed, accessibility(M=4.24), appropriate business hours(M=4.02).

    [

    ] Evaluation of Service

    label

    Looking at the result of evaluation of each category, the top two of them were neat and modern facility and preference for parents and children's using together (M=4.37) followed by accessibility(M=4.24), whereas the lowest assessment was appropriate installation of TV(M=3.75).

    The lowest score being 3.75 might mean that services of Family Support Division were highly evaluated in general. The users especially showed positive assessment in the physical facilities and they also liked it that they could use the facility together with children. Meanwhile, the items of appropriate installation of TV and usefulness of teaching aids received relatively low assessment, and need to be considered for improvement.

    [

    ] Overall Evaluation of Categories of Service

    label

       4. Evaluation of Educational Programs of Family Support Division

    1) Service Evaluation of Educational Programs

    The evaluation of suitability of the facility for activities showed 39.6% of 'slightly agree' and 38.1% of 'strongly agree', indicating the Family Support Division was a suitable place for activities. The total average score was 4.12 on a 5-oint scale. The difference analysis depending on the age of parents, the number of children, siblings, the age of the first born showed the highest assessment at 4.26 when the age of the first born was in between 1~2.

    [

    ] Evaluation of Service of Family Support Division

    label

    The appropriateness of education period was evaluated highly: 42.4% of 'strongly agree' and 30.9% of 'slightly agree', indicating that 12 weeks of education period was appropriate. The total average score was 4.14 on a 5-point scale. Comparing the variables of the age of parents, the number of children, siblings, and the age of the first born, we found the highest assessment at 4.38 when siblings were brothers and sisters.

    2) Awareness and Participation

    The evaluation of awareness of education showed 36.0% of 'strongly agree' and 35.6% of 'slightly agree', indicating that they were generally aware of the education administered by Family Support Division. The total average score was 3.94 on a 5-point scale. Comparing the variables of the age of parents, the number of children, siblings, and the age of the first born, we found the highest assessment at 4.33 when siblings were brothers.

    To the question of whether they would like to participate in the education programs 45.3% of the group responded 'strongly agree' and 38.8% 'slightly agree', indicating that majority of the respondents were willing to participate in the education. The total average score was 4.27 on a 5-point scale. The difference analysis depending on the age of parents, the number of children, siblings, and the age of the first born, the highest assessment was found at 4.45 when age of first born was over 8.

    Ⅳ. Conclusion and Discussion

    In sum, this study examined the toy rental service from Childcare Information Center and the renewal and recommendation of the service, the satisfaction level of the family support services, and the education program from family support division satisfaction level. The followings are the results and discussion of those results from the research.

    First, the service evaluation of toy rental services shows high assessment in each of the 18 questions in 4 subcategories of tangibility, convenience, consensuality and kindness of employees. Assessment on employees was especially high, and assessment of the facility and annual fees were high as well. But, the variety and number of toys available were not really satisfactory and these aspects call for improvement. This means that the toy rental service offer positive meaning in providing more effective support service of childcare for the subjects of the study who are the parents of infant or children. Especially, assuming that the raising fee for children is high and expensive, providing physical and environmental services and education and high quality books for children’s interest brings big meaning for child. Therefore, like the results of this study, for activating more of the system of this service, continuous support and education of this service especially focused on the tangibility, convenience, consensuality and kindness of employees is needed and more of this service should be provided nationally.

    Second, correlation between high intent to renew/recommend and high evaluation in tangibility, convenience, and kindness of employees was obvious. And although consensuality did not have correlation with intent to renew, it showed correlation with intent to recommend. The regression analysis shows the greatest correlation of kindness of employees with intent to renew, and this shows that there should be appropriate service education and management of the employees' attitude. This shows how increasing of the satisfaction level is crucial in providing this service because the kindness of employees had highest correlation for renew and recommend. So, the professional employees should be raised and get managed continuously.

    Third, the evaluation of family support division services also shows relatively high assessment, the lowest assessment being 3.75. In particular, physical facilities and being able to use it with their children received the highest assessment. However, the effectiveness of teaching aids for young infants and appropriate installation of TV sets were not highly evaluated and may need improvement. The results provide points that the family support service should be available freely and to provide the appropriate textbooks and other physical supports for development of the infant and child.

    Fourth, the education program of family support division also received high assessment in the questions of a suitable place for activities, appropriate education period, awareness of education, and participation in education. Participation in the education programs was evaluated high, but there needs to be more promotion of the education programs run by Family Support Division to increase awareness and meet the desires of the clients, since the awareness of education was evaluated relatively low. There are various child support facilities which offer educational programs for child and infants and those childcare center should create programs that are customized and professionalized like the ones for parental education, parental-coaching programs and so on. Also, advertising of these services is crucial to point out.

    High evaluation for all of the toy rental service, family support division, and education programs in Childcare Information Center shows high effectiveness of the services. Based on the result of the survey, if the categories mentioned above that fall short can be improved, the Center is bound to provide better service to the clients.

    The limitation of this research are the following. First, this study only focused on the Childcare Information Center and the services it provide such as toy rental service and family support, similar services of toy rental service that are offered in other centers like Childcare Support Centers, ‘I Love Mom’ Cafe, Infant-Child Plaza and etc. could be evaluated about satisfaction level and its current service rate. Second, most of the researches need theories that explains social phenomenon which back up the research’s validity and appropriateness. Also, the measurement method that come with the theory is also important to use in the research. So far, there are almost no studies that directly focus on the subject of toy rental service and family supportive division so this study lacks the measurement instrument that fits for evaluating the satisfaction level of the service. For future reference, there should be more studies on this subject should come up and the comprehensive measure method need to be developed. Last, this study based the evaluation by surveying the past experience of the use of the service, but more qualitative and deep approach is needed for the depth of the research.

    • 1. Baek S. J., J. Song J., Baek H. (2011) How to improve the operation of Gyonggido Childcare Information Center. google
    • 2. Do M. H. (2012) Medium and long-term policy making. google
    • 3. Dong Y. J. (2009) An Investigation of parents' recognition and reality concerning toy libraries and children library. google
    • 4. (2013) A Glace at childcare in Gyonggido: A Great Place for Child-Rearing. google
    • 5. Jang K. H. (2008) Research on management of toy library in Korea. [Research on Parental Education] Vol.5 P.79-100 google
    • 6. Kim M. J. (2013) A Manual for the cafe <I Love Mom>. google
    • 7. Kim M. J., Song J. (2012) How to establish an integrated childcare lounge. google
    • 8. Kim S. J. (2013) Study of the operations and the development plan on toy library in Korea. google
    • 9. Kwon Y. E., Kim M. H., Park M. J., Woo H. K., Lee S. N. (2006) Role and direction of childcare support by childcare support centers. [Researches in Childcare Support] Vol.1 P.43-66 google
    • 10. Song J. (2012) How to run the cafe <Love Children> of Gyonggido. google
    • [<Table 1>] Composition of Respondent (N=139)
      Composition of Respondent (N=139)
    • [<Table 2>] Research Contents of the Survey
      Research Contents of the Survey
    • [<Table 3>] Service Evaluation of Toy Rental Service
      Service Evaluation of Toy Rental Service
    • [<Table 4>] Overall Evaluation of Service Items
      Overall Evaluation of Service Items
    • [<Table 5>] Correlation of Toy Rental Service Evaluation with Renewal and Intent to Recommend
      Correlation of Toy Rental Service Evaluation with Renewal and Intent to Recommend
    • [<Table 6>] Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Renew Annual Membership
      Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Renew Annual Membership
    • [<Table 7>] Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Recommend
      Effects of Evaluation of Toy Rental Services on Their Intent to Recommend
    • [<Table 8>] Evaluation of Service
      Evaluation of Service
    • [<Table 9>] Overall Evaluation of Categories of Service
      Overall Evaluation of Categories of Service
    • [<Table 10>] Evaluation of Service of Family Support Division
      Evaluation of Service of Family Support Division