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Language and Literacy Promotion in Early Childhood Settings: A Survey of Center-Based Practices

Author(s): Stephen D. Green | Rick Peterson | Jocelyn R. Lewis

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | Early Literacy | Emergent Literacy | Young Children | Child Care | Classroom Environment

The early childhood years serve as an essential foundation for subsequent literacy development. Despite the increased attention given to children's early literacy development, gaps remain in our understanding of what is actually taking place in child care programs across the nation. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to assess the extent to which early childhood educators engage children in literacy-building activities, and (2) to identify educator or programmatic characteristics associated with the promotion of early literacy activities in child care centers. One hundred and eighty surveys were completed by early childhood educators attending regional training events. Findings demonstrate that efforts are being made in a number of areas to engage children in a variety of important language and literacy activities in their centers; however, a sizable minority of those surveyed indicated that they do not frequently engage children in recommended activities. Multiple regression analysis suggests that certain characteristics related to the educator and program itself appear to have a positive influence on how often educators promote language and literacy activities in their centers: availability of print materials, the educator's confidence in the training received in basic literacy skills instruction, and the number of children cared for in a particular program. Implications for practitioners are discussed.
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