Are some groups of parents in Germany more likely to choose high quality institutions for their children than others, e.g. because they lack the necessary information or have varying preferences? Are mothers whose children attend high-quality settings more satisfied and more likely to be employed?
These are some of the questions, on which the project ‘Early childhood education and care quality in the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-ECEC Quality) - direct and indirect effects on child development, socio-economic selection and information asymmetries’ will provide new evidence. The three-year project launched in September 2013 is funded by the Jacobs Foundation.
The project is coordinated by Pia S. Schober and C. Katharina Spieß. Together with their pro-ject partners Yvonne Anders and David Richter and their research team, they aim at 1) inves-tigating effects of ECEC quality on socio-emotional development for disadvantaged children in particular, 2) examining socio-economic selectivity in parental choices of ECEC quality, 3) assessing information asymmetries between mothers and ECEC providers, and 4) exploring how ECEC quality affects maternal employment and wellbeing and indirectly child develop-ment.
The project will collect new data on the quality of ECEC institutions, which are attended by children below school age who are sample members of a representative annual household panel study for Germany, the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). In a first step, the project surveys parents of all SOEP children below school age to investigate the parental decision-making process and subjective evaluations with respect to ECEC quality of the institutions attended by their children. In a second step, the project will collect indicators of structural, orientation and process quality from directors and class teachers of the ECEC institutions to capture the quality of interactions between children and pedagogic staff, activi-ties, learning environment, and teacher orientations. By combining institutional information on the educational context with individual and household data collected in the SOEP, this new data set will allow the researchers to examine associations with children’s development first during early childhood and school years and subsequently until adulthood.
In the context of the recent expansion of early childhood education and care (ECEC) institu-tions for children under three years and increased full-day care for children over three in Germany, the project is designed to provide important evidence how regulating structural quality may promote the well-being of children and parents and improve access to ECEC quality.
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