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Parents' choice of pre-kindergarten: The interaction of parent, child and contextual factors

Past research indicates that parents often have difficulty in assessing centre quality and accessing desired care when choosing early care for their children. This study surveyed parents whose children would qualify for state-funded pre-kindergarten in the following school year. Surveys were completed by 203 parents from varying socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds at 20 centres. Exploratory factor analysis identified two highly correlated categories of considerations: (1) characteristics that described programme quality and (2) characteristics that designated practical features of care. A series of hierarchical regressions indicated a combination of cultural, family and child factors that are important when assessing parents' considerations for pre-kindergarten. In particular, socioeconomic status, parents' beliefs about childrearing, parent involvement, only child status and children's school readiness skills were uniquely related to parental endorsement of quality and practical considerations. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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