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Age group, location or pedagogue: Factors affecting parental choice of kindergartens in Hungary
Teszenyi, Eleonora, 2015
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-17

Hungary has experienced significant political, economic, demographic and social changes since the end of Soviet domination in the 1990s. The gradual move towards liberal democracy has been accompanied by growing emphasis on individualism, choice and diversity. Universal kindergarten provision for five to six-year-olds is a long established feature of the Hungarian education system, but little is known about parental choice [Torok, B. (2004). A gyermekuketovodaztatoszulokkorebenvegzettorszagosfelmereseredmenyei [The result of the national survey among parents whose children attend kindergartens]. Orszagosovodai project. Szulovizsgalatialproject. Budapest: FelsooktatasiKutato]. A case study (Yin, 2009) of factors influencing parental choice and satisfaction was undertaken in one Hungarian town. This was based on a survey of 251 parents of children attending both mixed-age and same-age groups across 12 kindergartens. Parents suggested that the most important influences were geographical location and the individual pedagogue(s). Given that traditionally each pedagogue follows 'their' cohort from kindergarten entry to primary school, their influence appears heightened. Although generally satisfied with their chosen arrangement, parents from same-age groups expressed significantly more confidence and satisfaction, particularly in relation to cognitive development and preparation for school. Parents appear less convinced about the trend towards mixed-age groups and questions are raised about sufficiency of evidence of their benefits in a Hungarian context and the driving factors behind change. (author abstract)

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Aprendiendo en casa: Media as a resource for learning among Hispanic-Latino families
Lee, June H., Winter 2015
New York: Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

This report examines media use in Hispanic-Latino families with young children in the United States. Drawing from data from a national survey of parents of 2- to 10-year-olds, it extends the findings from an earlier report that sheds light on educational media use among American families (Rideout, 2014). Those findings pointed to the need to more deeply understand how Hispanic-Latino families with young children use media for learning. Hispanic-Latino families hail from a spectrum of language, access, country of origin, generational status, education, and other socio-demographic markers. These analyses aim to add to a fuller understanding of the media experiences and family contexts of children growing up in these families. In this study, we look at media access among Hispanic-Latino families, children's use of content that parents considered educational, parents' perceptions of their child's learning from educational media, parents' own use of technology for their learning, and parent-child joint engagement in media use. We also describe ways in which media can encourage conversations and extend playful activities. Given the importance of language as a proxy for a range of other socio-economic markers (including income, media access, and generational status), this study also closely examines media use by families that speak only English, only Spanish, and those that speak both languages. Case studies from ethnographic research further illustrate these issues. The report concludes with a set of implications for practitioners, designers, and researchers. (author abstract)

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Aprendiendo en casa: Media as a resource for learning among Hispanic-Latino families
Lee, June H., Winter 2015
New York: Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

This report examines media use in Hispanic-Latino families with young children in the United States. Drawing from data from a national survey of parents of 2- to 10-year-olds, it extends the findings from an earlier report that sheds light on educational media use among American families (Rideout, 2014). Those findings pointed to the need to more deeply understand how Hispanic-Latino families with young children use media for learning. Hispanic-Latino families hail from a spectrum of language, access, country of origin, generational status, education, and other socio-demographic markers. These analyses aim to add to a fuller understanding of the media experiences and family contexts of children growing up in these families. In this study, we look at media access among Hispanic-Latino families, children's use of content that parents considered educational, parents' perceptions of their child's learning from educational media, parents' own use of technology for their learning, and parent-child joint engagement in media use. We also describe ways in which media can encourage conversations and extend playful activities. Given the importance of language as a proxy for a range of other socio-economic markers (including income, media access, and generational status), this study also closely examines media use by families that speak only English, only Spanish, and those that speak both languages. Case studies from ethnographic research further illustrate these issues. The report concludes with a set of implications for practitioners, designers, and researchers. (author abstract)

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Assessing quality in family and provider/teacher relationships: Using the Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality (FPTRQ) measures in conjunction with Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community engagement frameworks and self-assessment tools: A research-to-practice brief
Porter, Toni, April, 2015
(OPRE Report 2015-56). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation.

This research-to-practice brief is intended to help policymakers, program managers, and practitioners learn how the newly released Family and Provider/Teacher Relationship Quality(FPTRQ) measures can be used to complement or supplement two approaches, Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start Parent, Family and Community Engagement (PFCE) frameworks, and their related self-assessments, that have been frequently used by Early Care and Education (ECE) stakeholders to support their work with families and to assess their programs, providers and teachers in these efforts. It is based on a systematic review of the Strengthening Families (TM) and the Head Start PFCE frameworks and self-assessment tools, and their alignment with the FPTRQ conceptual model and measures. (author abstract)

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Black parents of preschoolers educational attainment: Implications for parenting practices
Palmer, Kalani M., 2015
NHSA Dialog, 17(4), 138-143

Within the Black community exists great variability in parenting practices; however very little research has examined the parenting heterogeneity within this group. Moreover studies of Black parents often contain samples with minimal variation in educational attainment. The purpose of this study was to identify the potential role of educational attainment in predicting parenting differences within the Black community. This study focused on home literacy promotion and parent involvement in school, two parenting practices often associated with children's academic achievement. The sample consisted of 103 Black parents with a wide range of educational attainment and preschool-aged children enrolled in urban child care centers. The results suggest that attainment of at least a Bachelor's degree is associated with a richer home literacy environment but the same pattern was not evident for parent involvement in school. Implications for parent engagement are discussed. (author abstract)

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Building meaningful partnerships with families to promote early literacy development: Implications for practitioners
Friesen, Amber, 2015
NHSA Dialog, 18(1), 101-105

This research to practice paper summarizes the findings of a study that sought to understand Head Start families' existing beliefs and practices about early literacy. Guided by the "funds of knowledge" perspective (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992), this approach views families as resourceful, competent, and essential partners in their child's learning. Families were asked to complete The Family Literacy Survey, which included Likert scale-items and open-ended questions. The findings found that while families' valued early literacy learning, they reported few home activities related to children's specific early literacy skills (i.e., writing the child's name, learning letter sounds), instead relying on the Head Start program to address the development of these skills. Practical implications are detailed including supporting families' knowledge of early literacy and building on their existing literacy practices. (author abstract)

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Child Care Factors that Influence Parental Engagement: Understanding Longitudinal Pathways to Children's School Readiness
Barnett, Melissa A., 2015
University of Arizona

Early Care and Education (ECE) settings play an important role in child development for many children of preschool age. The powerful positive impacts of ECE programs on young children's development may be strengthened when programs work with parents. Parent engagement in early learning activities has been positively linked to children's school readiness and social-emotional well-being (Hindman & Morrison, 2011; Powell et al., 2010). The specific mechanisms by which ECE programs influence parent engagement, however, and how this engagement improves children's development, remain unclear. The goal of this project is to examine how ECE program factors are linked to parent engagement in child care, and in turn how this engagement leads to school readiness and child well-being being among children enrolled in center-based care in preschool.

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Children in Gearing Up for Kindergarten make progress in early math, reading skills
North Dakota State University. Extension Service, 2014
Fargo: North Dakota State University, Extension Service.

This fact sheet highlights outcomes in the areas of early math and reading, based on responses by parents who participated with their child(ren) in the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program during the 2013-14 year.

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Children's early literacy practices at home and in early years settings: Second annual survey of parents and practitioners
Formby, Susie, December, 2014
London: National Literacy Trust (Great Britain).

This report outlines findings from Pearson and the National Literacy Trust's second annual early years literacy survey, conducted in May to July 2014. 1,012 parents of children aged 3 to 5 and 567 early years practitioners who work with this age group participated. (author abstract)

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Children's early literacy practices at home and in early years settings: Second annual survey of parents and practitioners: Key findings
Formby, Susie, 2014
London: National Literacy Trust (Great Britain).

This report outlines findings from Pearson and the National Literacy Trust's second annual early years literacy survey, conducted in May to July 2014. 1,012 parents of children aged 3 to 5 and 567 early years practitioners who work with this age group participated. Attainment data in the form of vocabulary abilities were available for a subsample of 183 children. The report not only examines children's access to books and to technology, as well as their early reading habits, but it also examines the impact of these practices on young children's vocabulary. Within this report we seek to answer the following key questions: How often do children look at or read stories at home and in early years settings, and what is the impact on children's vocabulary? How do parents support their children in story-related activities? Are there differences in engagement in reading activities at home and vocabulary outcomes for children from different socioeconomic backgrounds or by gender? Does looking at or sharing stories using technology provide any additional benefit to children? What are the key changes between 2013 and 2014? (author abstract)

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Children's literacy interest and its relation to parents' literacy-promoting practices
Hume, Laura E., May, 2015
Journal of Research in Reading, 38(2), 172-193

This study examined how children's literacy interests related to parent literacy-promoting practices across time. Using a sample of 909 preschool-age children and the newly developed Child Activities Preference Checklist, literacy interest appeared to be a complex construct, not easily captured by a single measure. In a subsample of 230 children with longitudinal data, parent literacy practices and child literacy interests related concurrently and across time. Parent literacy practices were more stable than child literacy interests, with children's literacy interest continuing to develop over the preschool year. Parent practices of exposing children to literacy and teaching them literacy concepts appeared to be distinct constructs. Exposure to literacy was especially important in the growth of literacy interests and the hypothesis that exposure has a negative effect on children with little initial interest was not fully supported. (author abstract)

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A cocaring framework for infants and toddlers: Applying a model of coparenting to parent-teacher relationships
Lang, Sarah N., Q1 2016
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34(1), 40-52

Connections between home and childcare are vital for coordinating high quality care and education, especially for very young children. However, we know little about the key dimensions of parent-teacher, or cocaring relationships, in early childhood education, especially in subsidized care settings. Through individual, semi-structured qualitative interviews, this study examined 10 parent-teacher relationships where parents were receiving subsidized, center-based childcare for their infant or toddler. Using iterative, inductive analysis and deductive analysis based on Feinberg's (2003) definitions of key coparenting dimensions--a critical guiding theoretical framework for also understanding parent-teacher coordination and interaction--three main themes emerged: the importance of good, open communication between parents and educators, challenges when undermining versus support was used in their interactions, and tensions when parents and educators disagreed versus agreed on practices such as feeding or toilet training. This study found evidence for positive cocaring interactions, especially positive communication that related with effective care coordination. The cocaring conceptualization offers a practical frame-work to support strong parent-teacher relationships and a theoretical tool to facilitate future research on parent-teacher relationships in early childhood education. (author abstract)

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Communicating with Head Start parents about their child's weight status
Hoffman, Jessica A., 2015
NHSA Dialog, 18(2), 31-42

Head Start provides children with healthy, nutritious meals, physical activity opportunities, and health screenings, all of which are critical components of combatting early childhood obesity. Communicating health screening information about a child's weight status to parents is one way to engage families in childhood obesity prevention efforts. The purpose of this article is to describe a multi-phase, iterative, and collaborative process that was used to develop and evaluate strategies for communicating with Head Start parents about their child's Body Mass Index. This article aims to inform other Head Start programs about acceptable, effective approaches that can be used to deliver height and weight screening results to families. (author abstract)

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Costs of and satisfaction with child care arrangements for parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders
Barnard-Brak, Lucy, December, 2015
Journal of Family Issues, 36(14), 1887-1903

Child care arrangements, costs, and satisfaction among parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders were examined as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. The current study used a large, nationally representative, and community-based sample of approximately 3,000 parents of children with disabilities aged 3 to 5 years. Results indicate that parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders did not appear to have significantly different types of child care arrangements or levels of satisfaction with these arrangements as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. Parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders did appear to spend significantly more on child care as compared with parents of children with other disabilities. Parents of children with emotional and behavioral disorders spent $570 a year as compared with children with other disabilities. The overarching implication for policy would appear to be that special child care subsidies or more publicly fund child care services for parents of children with emotional or behavioral disorders should be provided. (author abstract)

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Cultural negotiation: Moving beyond a cycle of misunderstanding in early childhood settings
De Gioia, Katey, June, 2013
Journal of Early Childhood Research, 11(2), 108-122

Developing partnerships with families is critical in childcare services. However, families and early childhood educators bring to settings different cultural backgrounds, experiences and expectations of their role and the role of the childcare service. These differences can impact the family-educator partnership. This article examines some issues that arise when there is a disparity in understanding of expectations, which can result when educators are attempting to provide continuity of care-giving practices and families are hesitant about sharing their home practices. This study explores communication processes and expectations of continuity of care between home and early childhood setting. A social constructivism approach using qualitative methods of data gathering explored family and educator perceptions of continuity between home and setting. A cycle of misunderstanding is explained that ascribes characteristics of possible family educators' responses as a result of a poor understanding between roles. The discussion draws together the need to ascertain processes for negotiating with families and exploring practices that support the building of partnerships between families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and educators in childcare settings. (author abstract)

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Daily welcoming in childcare centre as a microtransition: An exploratory study
Venturelli, Elena, 2015
Early Child Development and Care, (), 1-16

This study focuses on the everyday morning microtransition in childcare centres that involves child-parent separation. This moment involves the contemporary presence of the child, caregiver and parent in the day-care centre. This coexistence is considered extremely relevant and full of important meanings for the interactive patterns they will build together and for the children's development. In order to explore this topic, 4 children (mean age 26 months), their parents and 3 caregivers were observed in a day-care centre for 3 months, for a total of 20 video-observations. Using a triadic perspective and microanalytic analysis method, the observations were analysed through the application of the triadic interaction analytical procedure. The results showed different interactive sequence processes to the microtransition from the parent-child interaction to the child-caregiver interaction. However, various types of interactive patterns emerged in relation to the child-parent-caregiver interaction, which show the active role of all the members in the co-construction of the interactive dynamic. (author abstract)

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Decreasing the SES math achievement gap: Initial math proficiency and home learning environments
Galindo, Claudia, October, 2015
Contemporary Educational Psychology, 43(), 25-38

Many children in the U.S., particularly those from low socioeconomic status (SES) backgrounds, do not develop sufficient math skills to be competitive in today's technological world. We utilized a mediation/moderation framework and the ECLS-K dataset to investigate factors that can decrease the SES-related math achievement gap in kindergarten. Starting kindergarten proficient in math and experiencing a supportive home learning environment significantly decreased SES achievement differences. Proficiency in math at the start of kindergarten accounted for the greatest decrease in the SES-math achievement gap. Findings support the importance of comprehensive and multi-contextual approaches targeted to families and schools for improving children's exposure to math-relevant experiences. (author abstract)

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Does parent involvement and neighborhood quality matter for African American boys' kindergarten mathematics achievement?
Baker, Claire E., April, 2015
Early Education and Development, 26(3), 342-355

There is growing evidence that home learning stimulation that includes informal numeracy experiences can promote math-related learning in school. Furthermore, national studies suggest that children who start kindergarten with stronger math skills are more likely to succeed in high school. This study used a large sample of African American boys to examine family, neighborhood, and demographic predictors of math achievement at kindergarten entry. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that mothers who engaged in more frequent home learning stimulation that included informal numeracy experiences (e.g., playing counting games) had sons who entered kindergarten with more advanced math skills. In addition, older, more educated mothers with fewer children living in their homes had sons with more advanced math skills at kindergarten entry. Practice or Policy: Findings suggest that home-based parent involvement that helps children make sense of numbers in ways that are meaningful for them can promote math skills at kindergarten entry. (author abstract)

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Early childhood program participation, from the National Household Education Surveys Program of 2012: First look
Mamedova, Saida, May, 2015
(NCES 2013-029.rev). 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 literacy practices and beliefs among Hispanic families in Jacksonville, Florida
Martelo, Maira Luz, November, 2014
Jacksonville: Florida Institute of Education.

The findings presented in this policy brief are taken from a mixed-method study that compared beliefs about education and literacy practices among Latino caregivers who had their 4-year-old children enrolled in the Florida Voluntary Prekindergarten Program (VPK) and parents who had not enrolled their children in early childhood programs at the time of the study (Martelo, 2013). A total of 125 surveys were collected from 74 caregivers with children enrolled in VPK and 51 without children enrolled in VPK. Twenty interviews were conducted: 10 with Hispanic parents with children enrolled in VPK and 10 without children enrolled in VPK. (author abstract)

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Early reading practices improve for children in Gearing Up for Kindergarten (2012-13)
North Dakota State University. Extension Service, 2014
Fargo: North Dakota State University, Extension Service.

This fact sheet highlights improvements in early reading practices for parents and children who participated in the Gearing Up for Kindergarten program during the 2012-13 year, based on parental responses.

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The effect of Head Start on parenting outcomes for children living in non-parental care
Pratt, Megan E., October, 2015
Journal of Child and Family Studies, 24(10), 2944-2956

We examined the effect of Head Start on parenting outcomes for children living in nonparental care, or living with someone other than biological, adoptive, or step-parent. Data came from the Head Start Impact Study, a nationally representative and randomized controlled trial of Head Start-eligible children and families. Parenting outcomes included receipt of supportive services, receipt of home visiting, parental involvement at home and at school, and frequency of spanking. Regression analyses indicated positive effects of Head Start on receipt of supportive services and home visiting, and on decreases in spanking, as well as marginal effects on greater preschool-based parent involvement (e.g., attending conferences and workshops and classroom volunteering). No effect was detected of Head Start on home-based involvement (i.e., frequency parent-child book reading and enrichment activities). These findings add to an emerging line of research suggesting that early childhood programs, such as Head Start, may be an effective and practical way of supporting non-parental families with preschool-aged children. Findings also identify potential areas for improvement in supporting non-parental families and the need for more research to further understand the role of early care and education in the lives of nonparental families. (author abstract)

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Effects of parent and child pre-intervention characteristics on child skill acquisition during a school readiness intervention
Mathis, Erin T. B., Q4 2015
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 33(4), 87-97

Two-hundred preschool children in Head Start (55% girls; 20% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 55% European American; [mean] age = 4.80 years old) participated in a randomized-controlled trial of a home visiting intervention designed to promote emergent literacy skills (the Research-based Developmentally Informed parent [REDI-P] program). This study explored concurrent changes in levels of parent support and child literacy skills that occurred over the course of the intervention, and examined the impact of pre-intervention parent support and child literacy skills as potential moderators of parent and child outcomes. Cross-lagged structural equation models and follow-up analyses indicated that intervention had the strongest impact on child literacy skills when parents were high on support at the pre-intervention assessment. Conversely, the REDI-Parent program promoted the greatest gains in parent support when parents entered the program with low levels of support. These findings suggest that families may benefit from home visiting school readiness interventions in different ways: child skill acquisition may be greatest when parents are initially high in support, whereas parenting may improve most when parents are initially low in support. (author abstract)

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Efficacy of the Lunch is in the Bag intervention to increase parents' packing of healthy bag lunches for young children: A cluster-randomized trial in early care and education centers
Roberts-Gray, Cindy, 08 January, 2016
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 13(), 1-19

Background: Lunches that parents pack for their young children to eat at school or the Early Care and Education (ECE) center fall short of recommended standards. Lunch is in the Bag is a multi-level behavioral nutrition intervention to increase parents' packing of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains in their children's lunches. Designed for implementation in ECE centers, the five-week long intervention is followed three months later with a one-week booster. Methods: Efficacy of Lunch is in the Bag was tested in cluster randomized trial. Participants were 633 families from 30 ECE centers (15 intervention, 15 control) across Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas, USA. Primary outcomes were servings of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains observed in the children's parent-packed bag lunches. Servings of refined grains, meats/beans/eggs/nuts, dairy, chips, and sweets also were observed. Data were collected at baseline, post-intervention (6-week follow-up), pre-booster (22-weeks follow-up), and post-booster (28-week follow-up). Time-by-treatment interactions were analyzed separately for each of the food groups using multi-level models to compare changes from baseline. Analyses were adjusted for relevant demographic variables and clustering within centers and parents. Results: The intervention effected increases from baseline to 6-week follow-up in vegetables (0.17 servings, SE = 0.04, P < 0.001) and whole grains (0.30 servings, SE = 0.13, P = 0.018). The increase in whole grains was maintained through the 28-week follow-up (0.34 servings, SE = 0.13, P = 0.009). Fruit averaged more than 1.40 servings with no differences between groups or across time. The intervention prevented increase in sweets (-0.43 servings, SE = 0.11, P < .001, at the 22-week follow-up). Parents persisted, however, in packing small amounts of vegetables (averages of 0.41 to 0.52 servings) and large amounts of sweets and chips (averages of 1.75 to 1.99 servings). Conclusions: The need for and positive effects of the Lunch is in the Bag intervention at ECE centers where parents send bag lunch for their preschool-aged children was confirmed. An important direction for future research is discovery of more options for leveraging the partnership of ECE centers and families to help young children learn to eat and enjoy vegetables and other healthy foods in preference to less healthy choices such as chips and sweets. (author abstract)

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Engaging Head Start families in childhood obesity prevention: School-home communication about children's height and weight screenings
Hoffman, Jessica A., 2015
NHSA Dialog, 18(2), 92-97

Head Start provides children with healthy, nutritious meals, physical activity opportunities, and health screenings, all of which are important components of combatting early childhood obesity. Communicating health screening information about a child's weight status to parents is one way to engage families in childhood obesity prevention efforts. This article describes a process that was used to develop and evaluate strategies for communicating with Head Start parents about their child's Body Mass Index. (author abstract)

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