Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Carey Dowling

Relational Format



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.

Included in

Psychology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.