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2012 Context Study of the Use of Technology and PBS KIDS Transmedia in the Home Environment
Education Development Center,
New York: Education Development Center.

Findings from a study of low income families' use of technology and transmedia content, which is videos and computer games linked to established children's educational shows and characters, based on interviews and activity checklists for 14 families

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2012 Context Study of the Use of Technology and PBS KIDS Transmedia in the Home Environment: Executive summary: Report to the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative
Education Development Center, September, 2012
New York: Education Development Center.

A summary of a study of low income families' use of technology and transmedia content, which is videos and computer games linked to established children's educational shows and characters, based on interviews and activity checklists for 14 families

Executive Summary


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2012 Context Study of the Use of Technology and PBS KIDS Transmedia in the Home Environment: A report to the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative
Education Development Center, September, 2012
New York: Education Development Center.

A study of low income families' use of technology and transmedia content, which is videos and computer games linked to established children's educational shows and characters, based on interviews and activity checklists for 14 families

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African American fathers' contributions to children's early academic achievement: Evidence from two-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort
Baker, Claire E., January, 2014
Early Education and Development, 25(1), 19-35

This study utilized a large sample (N=750) of 2-parent families from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort to examine the contributions of African American fathers' home literacy involvement, play activities, and caregiving at 24 months to children's reading and math achievement in preschool. After family characteristics and child characteristics were controlled for, both mother and father characteristics predicted child achievement. Mother age predicted math achievement but not reading. Furthermore, even after mother predictors were entered into the hierarchical regressions, fathers' education and home literacy involvement also significantly predicted achievement. African American fathers who engaged in more frequent shared book reading, telling stories, singing songs, and provided more children's books in their homes at 24 months had children with better reading and math scores in preschool. Practice or Policy: These findings support growing evidence that fathers contribute to child development. Implications for research on early academic achievement in ethnically diverse samples are discussed. (author abstract)

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Afterschool programs valued by parents for convenience, homework help
Dickman, Anneliese M., April, 2013
(Research Brief Vol. 101, No. 3). Milwaukee, WI: Public Policy Forum.

A study of parents' perceptions of and satisfaction with after school programs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based on eight focus groups with 53 parents of children in after school programs

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Association of child care providers breastfeeding support with breastfeeding duration at 6 months
Batan, Marilyn, May, 2013
Maternal and Child Health Journal, 17(4), 708-713

Many lactating mothers participate in the workforce and have their infants cared for outside of their home, yet little is known about their child care providers' (CCPs') support of breastfeeding. This study examines the association between CCPs' breastfeeding support as reported by mothers at 3 months and mother's breastfeeding at 6 months. Infant Feeding Practices Study II, a longitudinal study, followed mothers of infants via mail questionnaires almost monthly from late pregnancy throughout the first year. This study consisted of 183 mothers who breastfed and had their infant in child care at 3 months and answered 5 questions regarding CCPs' supports. Total number of CCPs' support was a summary of responses to individual items and categorized into 3 levels (0-2, 3-4, or 5 total supports). Multiple logistic regressions examined how each breastfeeding support and total number were associated with breastfeeding at 6 months. Breastfeeding at 6 months was significantly associated with CCP support to feed expressed breast milk (AOR = 4.55; 95 % CI= 1.09, 18.95) and allow mothers to breastfeed at the child care place before or after work (AOR = 6.23; 95 % CI = 1.33, 29.16). Compared to mothers who reported fewer than 3 total supports, mothers who reported 5 supports were 3 times as likely to be breastfeeding at 6 months (AOR = 3.00, 95 % CI = 1.11, 8.13). Our findings suggest that CCPs' breastfeeding support at 3 months, particularly feeding expressed breast milk and allowing mothers to breastfeed before or after work, may help mothers maintain breastfeeding at 6 months. (author abstract)

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The Australian first-time grandparents study: Time spent with the grandchild and its predictors
Condon, John T., March, 2013
Australasian Journal on Ageing, 32(1), 21-27

Aim: This paper presents data on the amount of contact a large cohort of first-time Australian grandparents have with their grandchild, and the amount of child care they provide. It compares these with grandparents' expectations and desired levels. Method: Prospective grandparents were assessed on multiple measures before the birth of their grandchild, and at 6, 12, 24 and 36 months thereafter. Results: At the 12-month assessment, grandmothers had approximately 15 hours per week contact, and provided approximately 7.5 hours per week of child care. The corresponding figures for grandfathers were 9.5 hours and 5 hours respectively. Approximately 10% of grandparents reported no contact with their grandchild, and 30-40% reported undertaking no child care. Almost half the grandparents desired more contact than they were actually getting. Conclusion: Accurate quantification of contact and care is a prerequisite for investigation of the impact of the transition to grandparenthood on health and well-being. (author abstract)

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Building blocks for school success: Findings from a 5-year longitudinal study
Harder + Company Community Research, February, 2013
Stockton, CA: First 5 San Joaquin.

A five-year longitudinal study of the parental involvement, school readiness skills, and elementary school outcomes of children participating in publicly-funded school readiness and preschool programs in San Joaquin County, California, based on child assessments, parent and teacher surveys, and administrative data for two cohorts of children

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Building blocks for school success: Findings from a 5-year longitudinal study: Executive summary
Harder + Company Community Research, February, 2013
Stockton, CA: First 5 San Joaquin.

A summary of a five-year longitudinal study of the parental involvement, school readiness skills, and elementary school outcomes of children participating in publicly-funded school readiness and preschool programs in San Joaquin County, California, based on child assessments, parent and teacher surveys, and administrative data for two cohorts of children

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Building capacity for parent involvement through school-based preschool services
Patel, Sejal, July, 2013
Early Child Development and Care, 183(7), 981-1004

This study investigated whether experience with school-based preschool services would build parents' capacity for school involvement. The research design compared parent involvement in kindergarten across school sites differing in the availability of preschool services, including sites with (1) multiple, integrated school-based preschool services, including seamless child care, family support programmes, and kindergarten (MS); (2) a single preschool family support programme; and (3) no preschool services. Parent surveys were employed with 206 parents of four-year-old and five-year-old children to investigate whether the site types differed in terms of several dimensions of parents' involvement: (1) feelings of efficacy in helping their children succeed in learning, (2) perceptions of their responsibilities in communicating with the teacher, and (3) perceptions of whether their children's school works with them. Parents in the MS sites reported feeling more efficacious, more welcomed by, and more responsibility to link with the school. (author abstract)

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Capitalizing on early childhood education: Low-income immigrant mothers' use of early childhood education to build human, social, and navigational capital
Vesely, Colleen K., July, 2013
Early Education and Development, 24(5), 744-765

Research Findings: Research indicates that early childhood education (ECE) serves various functions for societies and in turn families, including economic, educational, and social functions (Fukkink, 2008; Vandenbroeck, 2006). Using qualitative methods, we explored an aspect of the social function of ECE for low-income immigrant families. Specifically, in-depth interviews with 40 low-income immigrant mothers (19 Africans, 21 Latinas) were conducted to understand how low-income Latina and African immigrant mothers use their children's ECE programs to build human, social, and navigational capital. Latin American and African mothers both developed capital through interactions with their children's ECE programs. However, Latina mothers tended to rely on ECE more for building all 3 types of capital. Practice or Policy: The findings from this study highlight the significant role that ECE providers play in the lives of families, and particularly immigrant families, that goes beyond basic economic and educational supports. These findings point to the importance of training ECE educators and staff in fostering connections among and between families in their programs; educating parents, as many parents rely on their ECE programs for parenting advice and support; and working with local community agencies and resources to benefit children and families. (author abstract)

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Charting Progress for Babies in Child Care project: Promote family engagement
Johnson-Staub, Christine, November, 2013
Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy.

An overview of research on the role of family engagement with child care providers in supporting the development of infants and toddlers

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Child Care and Community Services: Characteristics of Service Use and Effects on Parenting
Auger, Anamarie, 2012
University of California, Irvine

The study aims to improve the field's understanding of the features of child care services that are most critical to support children's development and identify family-level processes that might be influenced by child care. Specific research questions are: (1) What characteristics of parents predict usage of supports and services offered through the child care center and the community?; (2) What types of services and supports do parents use?; (3) Do the services and supports provided or referred to parents from the child care or preschool setting positively affect the home environment and parenting practices? To address these questions three national data sets (Head Start Impact Study, National Evaluation of Early Head Start, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development) are being analyzed. The results of the study can further inform the field of the parental characteristics related to service take-up and whether the services have a positive effect on the home, in addition to providing practitioners and policymakers with evidence to design early child care and education programs that improve the environments and relationships vital for children's academic and social development.

Administration for Children and Families/OPRE Projects


Child care policy and the experiences of employed Albertan families with pre-school children: Final report
Breitkreuz, Rhonda, 11 February, 2013
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research.

A study of the child care decision-making and perspectives of working parents in Alberta, Canada, based on seven focus groups with 42 participants

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Child care policy and the experiences of employed Albertan families with pre-school children: Final report [Executive summary]
Breitkreuz, Rhonda, 11 February, 2013
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Alberta Centre for Child, Family & Community Research.

A summary of a study of the child care decision-making and perspectives of working parents in Alberta, Canada, based on seven focus groups with 42 participants

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Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study
Gelber, Alexander M., May, 2013
Journal of Public Economics, 101(), 25-38

Parents may have important effects on their children, but little work in economics explores whether children's schooling opportunities crowd out or encourage parents' investment in children. We analyze data from the Head Start Impact Study, which granted randomly chosen preschool-aged children the opportunity to attend Head Start. We find that Head Start causes a substantial increase in parents' involvement with their children--such as time spent reading to children, math activities, or days spent with children by fathers who do not live with their children--both during and after the period when their children are potentially enrolled in Head Start. (author abstract)

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The contribution of school-family cooperation on effective classroom management in early childhood education
Savas, Ahmet Cezmi , Fall 2012
Kuram ve Uygulamada Edytym Bylymlery, 12(4), 3099-3110

This study aims to determine the level of the contribution of school-family cooperation on effective classroom management in early childhood education, and what should be desired contribution according to views of parents and teachers. The data was collected qualitatively through semi-structured interview forms in downtown Gaziantep during the during the spring semester of 2011/2012 academic year. The participants of this study are; 28 preschool teachers, and 23 parents of the students of the selected 5 schools with convenience sampling method. Descriptive analysis and content analyses were performed for analyzing the interview results. As the findings of this study showed; most of the teachers think that the parents give them support in all the questioned dimensions except when coping with students' misbehaviors. However, some of the teachers and parents think that there are still problematic areas in the school-family cooperation and various improvements should be made for developing this cooperation. (author abstract)

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Creating potential for common ground and communication between early childhood program staff and parents about young children's eating
Johnson, Susan L., November-December 2013
Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(6), 558-570

Objectives: To explore child care staff and parent perspectives and communications about children's eating in child care. Design: Focus groups (FGs) conducted with child care staff and parents. Setting: Four Western states in the United States. Participants: Thirty-nine child care staff in 7 FGs and 25 parents in 6 FGs. Phenomenon of Interest: Thoughts and concerns about children's eating and opportunities to improve communication between staff and parents. Analysis: Content analysis (FG coding inter-rater reliability: staff = 0.74; parents = 0.81) and identification of meta-themes. Results: Three meta-themes were identified: (1) recognition of positive influences of the child care setting in children's development of healthy eating; (2) concerns about children's eating in child care and at home; and (3) strategies to improve communications and transactions related to children's eating. (author abstract)

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Defining family engagement among Latino Head Start parents: A mixed-methods measurement development study
McWayne, Christine M., Q3 2013
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(3), 593-607

Given the increasing numbers of Latino children and, specifically, of dual-language learning Latino children, entering the U.S. educational system, culturally contextualized models are needed to understand how parents construct their involvement roles and support their children's educational experiences. Current measures of parenting and family engagement have been developed primarily with European American families and, thus, might not capture engagement behaviors unique to other ethnic groups. Lacking culture-appropriate measurement limits our ability to construct programs that adequately incorporate protective factors to promote children's successful development. The present mixed-methods investigation employed an emic approach to understand family engagement conceptualizations for a pan-Latino population. One hundred thirteen parents from 14 Head Start programs in a large, northeastern city participated in the first study, in which domains of family engagement were identified and specific items were co-constructed to capture family engagement behaviors. Then, 650 caregivers participated in a second study examining the construct validity of the resulting 65-item measure across two language versions: Parental Engagement of Families from Latino Backgrounds (PEFL-English) and Participacion Educativa de Familias Latinas (PEFL-Spanish). Four theoretically meaningful dimensions of family engagement among Latino Head Start families were identified empirically. The measure was then validated with teacher report of family involvement and parent report of satisfaction with their experiences in Head Start. (author abstract)

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Developing early years professionalism: Evaluation of the Early Learning Initiative's professional development programme in community childcare centres in the Dublin Docklands
Share, Michelle, January, 2011
Dublin, Ireland: National College of Ireland.

An implementation evaluation of a professional development program for child care center staff in Dublin, Ireland, to support parental involvement in their children's learning, based on data collected through participatory action research with multiple stakeholders

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Documenting the transition experiences of children, families and staff through the relocation and integration of two Australian early childhood services
McFarland-Piazza, Laura, December, 2013
Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 38(4), 72-80

This exploratory study examines the transition experiences of children, families, and staff at two early childhood services in regional Australia, as they merge into an integrated early childhood service. A qualitative methodology was used and data were collected from open-ended surveys distributed to early childhood staff (5) and families (13) three months after the transition. Families indicated that early preparation, via social stories and orientation activities, helped facilitate smooth transitions for their children and themselves. Early childhood staff indicated challenges with a new location and a lack of infrastructure to support integration. Directors expressed positive attitudes about the integration process, but indicated that the lack of leadership and policy to guide the integration process was an impediment. Results point to the need for stronger support of early childhood staff during transition, and the importance of strong leadership, infrastructure and policy to facilitate integration of early childhood services. (author abstract)

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Do the effects of Head Start vary by parental preacademic stimulation?
Miller, Elizabeth B., 2014
Child Development, (), 1-16

Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 3,185, age = 3-4 years) were used to determine whether 1 year of Head Start differentially benefited children from homes with high, middle, and low levels of parental preacademic stimulation on three academic outcome domains-early math, early literacy, and receptive vocabulary. Results from residualized growth models showed positive impacts of random assignment to Head Start on all three outcomes, and positive associations between parental preacademic stimulation and academic performance. Two moderated effects were also found. Head start boosted early math skills the most for children receiving low parental preacademic stimulation. Effects of Head Start on early literacy skills were largest for children receiving moderate levels of parental preacademic stimulation. Implications for Head Start are discussed. (author abstract)

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Early childhood program participation, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012: First look
Mamedova, Saida, August, 2013
(NCES 2013-029). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

A study of early care and education arrangements of children from birth through age 5, families' child care expenses, and parents' involvement in children's early learning, based on data from the nationally representative National Household Education Survey 2012

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Early Head Start relationships: Association with program outcomes
Elicker, James, May, 2013
Early Education and Development, 24(4), 491-516

Research Findings: Interpersonal relationships among staff caregivers, parents, and children have been recommended as essential aspects of early childhood intervention. This study explored the associations of these relationships with program outcomes for children and parents in 3 Early Head Start programs. A total of 71 children (8-35 months, M=20), their parents, and 33 program caregivers participated. The results showed that caregiver-child relationships were moderately positive, secure, and interactive and improved in quality over 6 months, whereas caregiver-parent relationships were generally positive and temporally stable. Caregiver-child relationships were more positive for girls, younger children, and those in home-visiting programs. Caregiver-parent relationships were more positive when parents had higher education levels and when staff had more years of experience, had more positive work environments, or had attained a Child Development Associate credential or associate's level of education rather than a 4-year academic degree. Hierarchical linear modeling analysis suggested that the quality of the caregiver-parent relationship was a stronger predictor of both child and parent outcomes than was the quality of the caregiver-child relationship. There were also moderation effects: Stronger associations of caregiver-parent relationships with observed positive parenting were seen in parents with lower education levels and when program caregivers had higher levels of education. Practice or Policy: The results support the importance of caregiver-family relationships in early intervention programs and suggest that staff need to be prepared to build relationships with children and families in individualized ways. Limitations of this study and implications for program improvements and future research are discussed. (author abstract)

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EDC/SRI year 2 Ready to Learn research and evaluation summary report: A report to the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative
Education Development Center, September, 2012
New York: Education Development Center.

Summaries of five studies from an initiative to explore and support transmedia content, which includes videos and computer games linked to established children's educational shows and characters, in early education

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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