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03/06/2012

THESIS CHAPTER 1 - EFFECTS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROVIDED BY TINY HAVENS ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN


EFFECTS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROVIDED BY TINY HAVENS ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

 

Introduction

Parents use many forms of childcare, ranging from relatives to early care and education centers.  Philadelphia parents, in particular, are using a fractured set of services.  They are dissatisfied with their choices with nearly 65% of parents of young children report difficulties finding early childhood education that is of high quality.  Lower income, African American and Latino families are the most dissatisfied.  Parents appear to prefer center-based childhood education and care, regardless of the child’s age, if they believe that quality has been improved. The search for quality early childhood education is hindered by a gap in the capacity of the system.  If all young children in Philadelphia’s working families used formal early care and education, nearly 70,000 children would participate.  The system would need to grow by 59 percent or 26,000 slots.  This number would rise significantly if early care and education provided in a formal setting were seen as a core “school readiness” service that aids early childhood development and enhances school readiness and should be made universally available to every young child living in Philadelphia.

While the reasons for the overall minimal quality of Philadelphia’s programs are complex, nearly all can be traced back to the extraordinarily poor funding base for early childhood education.  The costs of the programs are borne by parents or in some cases by low levels of public payments through subsidy and/or Head Start.  The dominant programs of public assistance are Head Start, serving families with incomes to the poverty line and Pennsylvania Child Care Works, serving families with incomes up to double the poverty line. 

Parents play the most important role in raising their children.  Changing demographics mean that parents do not have the support from extended family on which earlier generations depended.  However, they want and need a place to turn to for support and advice.  Positive outcomes for parents were found more often in programs that used professional staff; provided opportunities for parents to meet in support groups and provided opportunities for peer support; worked with parents of children with special needs.  Programs with these characteristics are associated with larger effects on parents’ attitudes towards and knowledge of child-rearing and child development; the programs also have larger effects on children’s cognitive development. The researcher also inferred that parenting support provided in a high trust, low stigma environment would have the greatest impact. 

Success in school impacts success in life.  Over half of Philadelphia public school students score in the bottom quarter on math and reading test and only 61% of our high school students who enter ninth grade graduate.  Prospects for economic success diminish for children who don’t complete high school.  Forty-six percent of adults without a high school diploma live in poverty compared to 14% with a high school degree or higher. 

Children who start kindergarten with good preparation perform well in school.  Young children who are ready for kindergarten do better, showing improved school attendance and achievement, social and emotional health, high school graduation and participation in higher education.

Experience in the first five years of life profoundly impacts school success. In fact, the science of brain research confirms the impact of early learning on future success.    With so many children spending their early years in childcare, their school readiness can definitely be improved.

Early education of children has been a recent necessity for parents who seeks good education for their child. Initially, education starts at home where the parents serve as the first professors of their child. However, in this kind of setting, parents who haven’t got the skills of educating and handling the young one would usually employ sanctions for the child if it behaves wrongly. The usual tool for this punishment is the hickory stick. Nonetheless, children could succeed by putting away the hickory stick.  This means that parents should keep their anger to a minimum when the child does poorly in school, and instead works to turn failures into successes. (Michele, 1999) Moreover, a positive attitude and confidence in one’s abilities are two important factors in whether or not a child will excel in school. How a child perceives him or herself is a major key in this area. Experts have found that self-esteem both influences and are influenced by academic achievement. Positive thinking, and the sense that he or she is competent and effective, will help your child create an academically successful climate.

First of all, one needs to remember that self-esteem is not something that one can normally teach children. A child’s self-esteem is established through the result of their achievements, it is not the cause of their achievement. Therefore, learning or accomplishing something makes the child feel good, and confident, which in turn raises their self-esteem. (Michele, 1999) A simple aid would be to help children set their own goals.

On the other hand, experts say parents should encourage their children. Encouragement credits the effort, or progress, the child has made, and when we talk about what the child has done, not how good it is, parents help their children recognize their own abilities and progress. This gives the child the opportunity to do well if he or she wishes to, thus nourishing their own self-esteem. (Michele, 1999)

Moreover, schooling experience has produced results less than adequate for a child who is capable of learning, but not in the usual way.  How a child is taught may be helpful to other providers living with complex learners. (Kulp, 2000) To illustrate, Kulp provided several suggestions on how a child with complex learning skills would acquire learning. First he said that the child should be given emotional Wheaties by saying, “You are sharp, we don’t know how sharp yet, but we’re going to find out.” “Learning differences are only disabilities if you let them be, we just need to find out how to get the information into you in a fun way.” In this manner the child would be able be a guide in discovering how to reach a gate to get the information into her brain. On varying days one could use different methods, and when one doesn’t work we move on to other paths of entry. Another style would be the emphasis on the treatment of learning as a leisurely activity. One makes learning fun, challenging and rewarding, one inspect what he expects and don’t settle for sloppiness in those areas the child is capable of performing well in. Likewise, Kulp stated that one must enjoy the small steps toward a goal. It is not a race to learn, it is understanding how to learn. It is mastery. And finally he stated that parents could employ the multi-sensory learning. It is an “I show you and you watch me, then I show you and you tell me what I am doing, finally you show me and teach me how you do it” activity. By using multi-sensory learning in each small step, a child is able to utilize her vision, hearing, speaking and kinesthetic abilities. For the child’s speaking is a vital mix, along with touch. (Kulp, 2000)

Statement of the Problem

This study seeks to prove the benefits of an early childhood education provided by Tiny Haven and its effect on school readiness and success compared to other established programs in the Philadelphia area.  Specifically, the study seeks to answer the following questions: 

1.            What is the profile of the students in Tiny Haven according to:

a.    Gender

b.    Age

c.    Number of years in preschool

d.    Educational attainment of parents

2.            How do Tiny Haven’s programs differ from other established programs in the area?

3.            What specific benefits does it provide to both the children and their parents in terms of:

a.    The behavior/attitude it imparts to children

b.    The way it nourishes/improves the talents/capabilities of the children

c.    The advantage it provides to parents who need a childcare program for their young ones

4.            How do children who went to Tiny Haven differ from other children in terms of:

a.    Attitudes and behavior

b.    Level of learning

Statement of the Need

This study is deemed significant in order to prove the beneficial effects of childcare availability in Center City.  This also seeks to convey to parents the level or quality of childcare programs available in the city.  The location that is usually selected by parents on the basis of its proximity to their place of employment easily lends itself to reducing the guilt associated with placing their children in this setting at an early age (usually within the first six months after birth).  This factor, albeit an emotional one, plays a large part in making the final decision when selecting care for the young child. 

Moreover, this study poses a significant part in substantiating that a well-designed educational service (that provides a comprehensive service – health, resiliency, social competence and cognitive and language development) in early childhood can have positive, long lasting effects for children.  The researcher is aimed at proving that children regardless of their family background, provided that they undergo a preschool program, are more likely to go on higher educational level.   

Proofs of children under a childcare program being quick-learners and motivated are aimed to be presented.  Resourcefulness and other positive attitudes are also expected to come out in this study so as to provide parents a clearer understanding of the benefits a childcare program provides. 

Children go through stages of development and learn at different rates.  In line with this, this study could also provide a comparison of the processes that a child undergoes throughout the stages of development depending on their agents of development – that is the childcare system that they undergo.  A comparison of the development rates of children from different childcare programs is also important for the attainment of the objectives of this study.

Quality child-care programs are among the most powerful weapons in the fight to reduce crime and violence.  In this regard, it is perceived to be of significance to emphasize that the public should invest on this kind of educational programs for this contributes positively to the children’s later success.

Objective of the Study

This study primarily aims to prove the benefits of an early childhood education provided by Tuny Haven and its effects on school readiness and success compared to other established programs in the Philadelphia area.  More specifically, it seeks to compare specific programs of the Tiny Havens from other childcare programs available in the area in order to come up with the analysis on how well the said school provides an early childcare program to the young ones. It also aims to provide the readers, particularly the parents, a comprehension of the effects that said school imparts on children’s overall well-being. 

Definition of Terms

Provider - an establishment that provides care for children from six weeks to 13 years.

Subsidy - an assistance program that totally or partially pays for childcare based upon the families’ income

School Readiness - the process a child has been provided exposure to developmentally appropriate information that can be processed so that he/she is ready to enter kindergarten prepared to learn at or above that level

Developmentally Appropriate Practices - the child is provided with learning experiences that are understandable and provide positive learning benefits that can be used to build on future learning experiences.

 

Learning

Behavior/Attitude 

Overview of Remaining Chapters 

In chapter two, the literature review introduces the subject material and background, inclusion criteria, topics to be covered: the need for quality childcare services, comprehensive services available and provides evidence that supports the beneficial effects on future success in education.  Chapter three presents the methodology that will be used in this research paper.  This will include the method of data collection and procedures, questions that will be used to process the data, the design of the study which will determine its validity and reliability, the instrumentation and, finally, the analysis of the collected data.  Chapter four will document the findings and provide a summation of these findings.  Chapter five contains the discussion of the findings, limitations, and recommendations.

 

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