Threshold analysis of association between child care quality and child outcomes for low-income children in pre-kindergarten programs
Burchinal, M., Vandergrift, N., Pianta, R., & Mashburn, A. (2010). Threshold analysis of association between child care quality and child outcomes for low-income children in pre-kindergarten programs. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 25(2), 166-176. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.10.004
Over the past five decades, the federal government and most states have invested heavily in providing publicly-funded child care and early education opportunities for 3- and 4-year-old children from low-income families. Policy makers and parents want to identify the level or threshold in quality of teacher-child interaction and intentional instruction related to better child outcomes to most efficiently use child care to improve school readiness. Academic and social outcomes for children from low-income families were predicted from measures of teacher-child interactions and instructional quality in a spline regression analysis of data from an 11-state pre-kindergarten evaluation. Findings suggested that the quality of teacher-child interactions was a stronger predictor of higher social competence and lower levels of behavior problems in higher than in lower quality classrooms. Further, findings suggested that quality of instruction was related to language, read and math skills more strongly in higher quality than in lower quality classrooms. These findings suggest that high-quality classrooms may be necessary to improve social and academic outcomes in pre-kindergarten programs for low-income children. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.