Title

Preschool Attendance: Parental and Teacher Perspectives of Barriers and Behaviors

Location

3033

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Workshop

Start Date

13-1-2017 1:05 PM

End Date

13-1-2017 3:10 PM

Abstract

Background/Purpose: Chronic absenteeism in preschool can lead to a repetitive pattern in elementary school causing social and cognitive deficits resulting in early school failure. Preschool absenteeism has been shown to be the result of multiple risk factors in a child’s life including level of poverty and chronic health concerns. The purpose of the study was to look at the decision making process parents and teachers use every day regarding health and attendance and to examine the environmental supports of preschool attendance which facilitated identification of factors encouraging or impeding attendance.

Methods A grounded theory study was conducted in a preschool of 67 children (aged 3 to 4 years) with primarily low-income, single parents and teachers in South Florida. Focus groups and interviews with teachers, parents and administrators were conducted, and direct observation of the school attendance process and health/attendance policies were examined. Data analysis was concurrent with data collection to allow for theoretical sampling.

Findings: The data analysis revealed an underlying process of “Communicating about health: benefitting children’s attendance in a preschool environment.” Supporting this theory were three themes of a) empowering actions to support health, b) trusting judgment regarding health, and c) committing to health and attendance by the parents and school’s organization.

Discussion/Implications: Adoption of state and local policies encouraging data collection of chronic absenteeism needs to become a priority. Further research with parents and teachers about absenteeism will contribute additional insight into this issue and provide more data to create tools for measurement from their perspective. Promotion of attention and prevention of early school failure would be natural outcomes of early interventions coordinated with families.

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Jan 13th, 1:05 PM Jan 13th, 3:10 PM

Preschool Attendance: Parental and Teacher Perspectives of Barriers and Behaviors

3033

Background/Purpose: Chronic absenteeism in preschool can lead to a repetitive pattern in elementary school causing social and cognitive deficits resulting in early school failure. Preschool absenteeism has been shown to be the result of multiple risk factors in a child’s life including level of poverty and chronic health concerns. The purpose of the study was to look at the decision making process parents and teachers use every day regarding health and attendance and to examine the environmental supports of preschool attendance which facilitated identification of factors encouraging or impeding attendance.

Methods A grounded theory study was conducted in a preschool of 67 children (aged 3 to 4 years) with primarily low-income, single parents and teachers in South Florida. Focus groups and interviews with teachers, parents and administrators were conducted, and direct observation of the school attendance process and health/attendance policies were examined. Data analysis was concurrent with data collection to allow for theoretical sampling.

Findings: The data analysis revealed an underlying process of “Communicating about health: benefitting children’s attendance in a preschool environment.” Supporting this theory were three themes of a) empowering actions to support health, b) trusting judgment regarding health, and c) committing to health and attendance by the parents and school’s organization.

Discussion/Implications: Adoption of state and local policies encouraging data collection of chronic absenteeism needs to become a priority. Further research with parents and teachers about absenteeism will contribute additional insight into this issue and provide more data to create tools for measurement from their perspective. Promotion of attention and prevention of early school failure would be natural outcomes of early interventions coordinated with families.