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The Dilemma of Limited Participation in Quality Early Childhood Programs in the Steeltown Community

Lobaugh, Catherine Skezas (2007) The Dilemma of Limited Participation in Quality Early Childhood Programs in the Steeltown Community. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this multi-perspectival qualitative study was to examine the reasons parents/primary caregivers residing in and around the Steeltown community choose to have their preschool age children participate or not participate in quality early childhood education programs. The goal of the researcher was to examine the early childhood experiences of some of the children from the Steeltown community who reside in either of the two subsidized housing projects and/or their neighborhoods. The following research questions were formulated to examine the reasons parents/primary caregivers choose to have their preschool age children participate or not participate in quality early childhood programs, given the presence of these programs in the Steeltown community.1)What are the early childhood programs available in the area?2)What do these programs provide: academics, socialization, childcare, other?3)What types of early childhood care (primarily) do parents/primary caregivers enroll their children: home (none), babysitter, daycare, nursery school?4)On what basis is this type of early childhood care chosen by parents/primary caregivers?5)How important is a child's prekindergarten (approximately from ages 0-5 years) experiences on kindergarten school readiness?6)What comments or questions regarding the context of early childhood education programs in the community do the research participants have of the researcher?Data was collected from interviews and focus groups of parents/primary caregivers and the school district parent involvement coordinator along with a review of school district documents regarding early childhood programs in the Steeltown area and local demographics. The findings indicate that the communication system between parents/primary caregivers and early childhood education providers has had a major impact on participation or lack of participation in quality early childhood programs. The goals of Goals 2000 legislation, ensuring all children come to school ready to learn, and the goals of the No Child Left Behind legislation have influenced the focus on the provision of high quality early education programs for all children. The results of this study revealed that without an effective communication system, parents/primary caregivers have limited knowledge of school readiness, what quality early childhood programs offer, and that these programs are accessible.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lobaugh, Catherine
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHughes, Seanshughes@pitt.eduSHUGHES
Committee MemberGorman, Charlescgorman@pitt.eduCGORMAN
Committee MemberSeckinger, Richardrsecking@pitt.eduRSECKING
Committee MemberGoodwin, Sue Annsgoodwin@pitt.eduSGOODWIN
Date: 29 January 2007
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 28 September 2006
Approval Date: 29 January 2007
Submission Date: 28 October 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: academic achievement; achievement gap; at risk students; economically disadvantaged students; equity; PreK; quality early childhood education programs; ready schools; school readiness
Other ID:, etd-10282006-115349
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:03
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:50


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