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Learning in preschool children: Child care quality and social knowledge

The primary objective of this study is to understand the relationship between child care quality in preschool classrooms, child social knowledge and child social competence, and child learning. The hypotheses that observed quality as measured by the ECERS-R predicts both child level of engagement in his classroom (as measured by his level of social knowledge about that classroom) and social competence (as measured by the Adaptive Social Behavior Inventory prosocial and disruptive subscales); and that both social knowledge and competence predict positive child learning (as measured by child scores on the Story and Print Concept Task and Phonological Awareness Task) for individual children, were tested. One-hundred forty-seven children aged 36 to 70 months from 20 child care/ preschool classrooms, including Head Start and collaborative partner classrooms, participated in the study. The Classroom Model Task, as an indirect measure of engagement in the environment, was used to assess children's accurate perceptions of their social environments. Results indicate observed quality is related to social knowledge, that social knowledge relates to child learning on the Story and Print Concepts task, and that social knowledge and social competence are unique constructs. Understanding the influence of child care quality on child social knowledge, competence, and learning may help inform early childhood professionals, including teachers and administrators, about strategies to improve the overall success of children in their care. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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