Non-parental caregivers, parents, and the school readiness of the children of Latino/a immigrants

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2017-08

Authors

Pivnick, Lilla Kármán

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Abstract

School readiness generally predicts trajectories of academic achievement over time, motivating efforts to support the development of school readiness skills by expanding access to and improving the quality of early childhood care and education. One dimension of early childhood care and education concerns the beliefs that non-parental caregivers (e.g. preschool teachers, relatives, child care providers) in these settings have about school readiness and how these beliefs may differ from parent beliefs. Non-parental caregivers’ beliefs—and their alignment with parents’ beliefs—may be especially significant for certain segments of the child population, namely children of Latino/a immigrant parents in the U.S., who are overrepresented among students who enter school with underdeveloped academic skills and whose parents may not have the resources nor the familiarity with the U.S. education system to know what schools will expect of their children upon school entry. Latino/a immigrant parents and their children, therefore, may be more influenced by the school readiness beliefs of non-parental caregivers than other groups. This study uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) to investigate whether non-parental early caregivers’ beliefs about school readiness and their alignment with parental beliefs are associated with children’s achievement test scores at kindergarten entry—in general and especially among the children of Latino/a immigrant parents.

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