Capturing Information about the Amount and Quality of Parent Involvement in Preschool
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Using a quasi-experimental design, we will compare patterns of parent involvement in schools implementing the intervention model to parent involvement in matched-comparison schools. Information on parent involvement in preschool was collected from multiple sources: self-report on a parent survey; items assessing the frequency of parent involvement across classrooms/school by teacher-report on a teacher survey completed in the spring of the preschool year (and then again in the spring of kindergarten year); and teachers completing logs on individual parent’s involvement at the school. The parent survey collects information about family and child demographics (e.g., poverty, parent education level, family structure, child’s health) and use of other services (e.g., home visiting, WIC). Several items ask about parent involvement in school activities and in home learning activities. A shorter version of the parent survey is also collected when the children are in kindergarten.
The sample included 49 schools [26 intervention; 23 comparison] and approximately 2,000 preschool children and their parents. We will present data on a subset of parents and their children who were four years old in fall 2012, were enrolled for one year in preschool either at an intervention school or a comparison school, and entered kindergarten in fall 2013 and had parent survey data during preschool and kindergarten.
The successes and challenges of collecting parent involvement data will be discussed. The teacher survey had the least missing data across the intervention and comparison groups (77% of teachers in both the intervention and comparison groups completed the survey during spring of the preschool year) and was potentially the least biased source of reporting. Preliminary data analyses demonstrated greater levels of parent involvement in the intervention sites during preschool as reported by teachers. Additional analyses will be presented examining whether there were also differences when examining the parent-reported involvement as well as differences in levels of engagement in early learning activities at home. Comparisons of findings across methods will be discussed. If data are available, we also will examine the relationship between parent involvement and child outcomes.