Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Catherine Sullivan

Abstract

The purpose of this correlational study, which took place in a Central Florida school district, was to investigate the relationship between the quality of the early childhood education (ECE) programs and students' kindergarten readiness scores. Vygotsky's sociocultural theory, which states that a child's environment, culture, and language are related to academic and social development, was the theoretical framework for this study. Many ECE centers have been rated using the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS). Additionally, some children in those centers have been rated for kindergarten readiness using the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS) developed by the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). The sample included 55 ECE centers that had an ECERS rating with students who had FLKRS scores. This study addressed whether FLKRS scores were positively correlated with ECERS ratings. Data were analyzed using the Pearson product moment correlation. Results indicated a positive and significant correlation between ECERS ratings and FLKRS scores. A white paper was prepared to raise awareness regarding the availability of quality ECE centers to young learners. Implications for social change include an increased number of quality ECE programs in local neighborhoods as well as increased awareness of the importance of an environmental rating scale to monitor program quality.