Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2017


Ramin Neshati

Course Title

Decision Making

Course Number

ETM 530/630


One of the most important decision that families will ever make is choosing the best kind of day care for their children. This decision is faced by many as the number of dual-income and single parent households, and maternal employment continues to grow in the United States(US Census Bureau, 2013). Working parents are looking for an alternative that will provide the same quality care for their children in their absence. The objective of this paper is to develop a decision framework that can be used by families in the selection of a daycare center for their children. A hierarchical decision model (HDM) was developed in which experts actively participated during the model development stage as well as provided judgments using weights for the criteria, subcriteria, and alternatives, using pairwise comparisons among the decision elements. Four prospective daycare centers are identified as alternatives. Common elements of daycare centers are identified and used as criteria and sub-criteria. Findings from this research show that staff qualification and program reputation are the top two indicators that influence the decision making process in choosing a daycare center, followed by a tie between base cost, health policy, and curriculum. Findings from the case study used in this research resulted to the identification of the top alternative (Daycare Center N1) from the quantified expert judgments, both collectively and individually. But how robust is this result? Unfortunately, robustness check was not implemented in this research paper due to limitations in terms of time and resources. For future study, a sensitivity analysis of the model is recommended.


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