Date of Award
High-quality early childhood education has been shown to enhance the development of social, emotional, cognitive, language, and literacy skills in young children (Burchinal, Peisner-Feinberg, Bryant, & Clifford, 2000; Loeb, Fuller, Kagan, & Carrol, 2004; Peisner-Feinberg et al., 2001). Barriers encountered when attempting to provide high-quality early childhood education in the Mississippi Delta were investigated by analyzing the opinions and perceptions of early childhood educators. Requests for participation in the study were mailed to 92 child care facilities, and individuals from three licensed child care centers in the region participated. Opinions were gathered using questionnaires (n = 20) and interviews (n = 2) created for this study. Participants included women ranging in age from 26 to 68 years, 70% identified as Black/African American. Fifty-six percent of participants indicated that they encounter barriers when trying to obtain training and 53.8% of participants indicated that they encounter barriers when trying to provide high-quality early childhood education. Eighty-six percent of participants agreed that overall educational quality would improve and that children would enter kindergarten prepared to succeed if barriers were removed. Additionally, the present study found that 75% of participants would still pursue a career in early childhood education if they were required to earn a college degree. The opinions collected in this study shed light on several issues in the Mississippi Delta's child care system that need improvement.
Poole, Mackenzie, "Barriers to the Provision of High-Quality Early Childhood Education in the Mississippi Delta" (2017). Honors Theses. 603.