Preschool learning environment and children’s social and cognitive development at school entry in rural China: a multilevel study

Dr. Xiaofei Qi, School of Education, Durham University
Email: xiaofei.qi@durham.ac.uk

This study investigates the relevance of preschool centre experience and preschool home activities for children’s cognitive development at preschool and one year later at school entry. The sample included 298 children (mean child age = 69 months, 151 girls) and families clustered in 19 preschool centres from rural China. In multilevel models, controlling for selected child, parents and family background factors as well as preschool home activities, positive associations were found between preschool centre quality (based on ECERS-R and ECERS-E measures, teachers’ qualification) and children’s cognitive outcomes both at preschool (Time 1) and at school entry (Time 2). Progress models for cognitive outcomes at school entry (Time 2) found no added effects of preschool quality after accounting for demographic factors and cognitive outcomes at preschool (Time 1). Implications for early childhood education development in China can be tentatively drawn from the present study.   

Preschool education, teacher qualifications, home activities, cognitive development, rural China 

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