Associations between parental involvement and school readiness for children enrolled in Head Start and other early education programs
This study investigates the relations among low-income parents' perceptions of their child's teacher, parental school involvement, and children's pre-academic skills and aggressive behaviors by program type: Head Start or other early childhood education (ECE) programs. The data were collected at two Midwestern sites as a part of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Pre-Kindergarten Follow-up Study. Findings indicate that when Head Start parents attended more school activities, their child scored higher on early literacy skills and lower in aggressive behavior. When Head Start parents perceived their child's teacher as responsive, their child scored higher on early math skills. For children enrolled in other ECE programs, however, these relationships were not found. This study suggests that parents' perceptions of their child's teacher and their level of school involvement may be linked differentially to pre-academic skills and aggressive behaviors depending on program type. These findings call for research to further elucidate these links and suggest the need for additional support for low-income families and more professional development for early childhood teachers regarding ways to promote children's school readiness through enhancing home-school connections. (author abstract)
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