The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation has awarded Whittier College a grant for $102,000 to support educational research in the pre-school level. The study, "Exploring Child Care Cultural Congruency: Predictors and Pathways to Social and Emotional Outcomes in Kindergarten," will be led by education and child development professor Kay Sanders.
Sanders' research will analyze information from the 1997 Family & Child Experiences Survey Head Start study to look at how cultural practices at home and in child care coincide to benefit children from low-income families. In particular the study will look at whether issues associated with cultural diversity and cultural responsiveness influence children's outcomes, particularly children's readiness for school.
"In the past, the impact and influence of cultural aspects has not been a focus of inquiry at the child care level. In the child care research field presently, there is quite a bit of talk about the quality of child care and how quality relates to children's well-being. Many of the ways in which quality is measured in child care fails to find strong evidence for a connection between high quality care and children's outcomes," said Sanders.