Implementing a School Readiness Intervention in Community-Based Childcare Centers: Director and Teacher Perceptions

Leah J. Hunter, Karen L. Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the U.S., one-third of preschool children attend programs run by childcare centers. Childcare centers are generally isolated and under-resourced businesses, often challenged by high rates of teacher turnover and inconsistent financial support. Correspondingly, childcare centers often struggle to provide high-quality educational experiences for preschool children. This study introduced an evidence-based curriculum (REDI) to improve the educational experiences of preschool children in childcare centers and used a novel professional development (PD) model in which center directors were trained to serve as local coaches. Open-ended interviews with 45 teachers and 31 center directors evaluated the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of the REDI intervention and coaching model. Participants also described their workplace and rated their intentions regarding future program use. Participants described multiple challenges in the workplace but generally positive perceptions of the REDI intervention. Perceptions regarding the feasibility of the coaching model were mixed. Workplace descriptions were associated with intervention experiences which, in turn, predicted intentions for future program use. Findings validate the importance of addressing the unique workplace challenges faced by childcare staff when designing classroom interventions and PD supports. Attending to program acceptability, feasibility, and perceived effectiveness in these settings may be critical to support sustained use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEarly Education and Development
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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