Quality of childcare and school readiness of children in poverty: A South Korean study
The present study investigated the associations of two childcare variables (quality of childcare and years of childcare exposure) with school readiness of 5-year-old children living in poverty. Quality of childcare practices of 27 centers in metropolitan low-income communities of South Korea was evaluated, and 189 children from absolute poverty households enrolled in the centers were tested in three areas (learning-related social skills, story comprehension abilities, and fine motor skills). This study found unique associations between quality of childcare and early academic skills of children in poverty. The quality of childcare practices at the centers where children enrolled at the age of 5 was positively associated with their learning-related social skills, story comprehension abilities, and fine motor skills. Links were not found between duration of ECEC exposure and either learning-related social skills or fine motor skills. In story comprehension, children with less than one year in ECEC showed lower abilities than did children with 1-3 years in ECEC; however, no difference in abilities was found between children with less than 1 year in ECEC and children with over 3 years in ECEC. This implies that ECEC experience from infancy is not consistently linked to higher academic skills at the age of 5. (author abstract)
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