Date of Award

5-1-1988

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

First Advisor

Madison Foster, Ph.D

Abstract

The study explored whether combinations of alternative child care arrangements and sociodemographic characteristics were associated with kindergarten achievement similar to the common effects for formal preschool intervention programs. The achievement of preschool nonattenders was compared within the group by the place of child care (in- home or away from home), and among comparison groups (no preschool group, school system preschool group and non-school system preschool group). A sample of 1,456 kindergarten students was selected from among 23 schools. There were 573 students with no preschool, 11:9 from the school system preschool program and 73!: students from the non-school system preschool programs. A Child Care Questionnaire mailed to parents of the no-preschool students was used to collect information on the description and the educational dimensions of the alternative child care arrangements used by parents during the day on weekdays, the year preceding child's enrollment in kindergarten. The results of preassessment and post assessment performance on the Ready Steps Language Survey, the reading and mathematics minimum skills, Getting Ready to Read, progression status, and the California Achievement Tests were used as measures of achievement. The findings indicated that certain combinations of sociodemographic characteristics and educational dimensions of the alternative child care arrangements were associated with a high level of kindergarten achievement, and that kindergarten students with this combination of variables in the alternative child care settings demonstrated a level of achievement equal to the average for students within the same schools who attended formal preschool programs. There was no significant difference in achievement within the no-preschool group, and differences among the comparison groups were identified at preassessment and post assessment in favor of the preschool group.

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