Understanding Preschool Teachers’ Emotional Support as a Function of Center Climate
Zinsser, Katherine M.
Curby, Timothy W.
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There is great emphasis recently on improving the quality of early childhood education in the United States. Within quality rating improvement systems, classroom quality is often reported at the center or program levels. Yet little is known about teaching quality at the center level or the influence of center characteristics on teaching quality. Specifically, this study examines the extent to which the quality of emotional support provided by the teacher is associated with characteristics of the center (e.g., prior turnover rates) and center director (e.g., education, management practices). Findings from Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2009 data indicated that emotional support dimensions were differentially predicted by characteristics of the center and the director, including prior teacher turnover rate and director job satisfaction. However, highly regulated indicators of center quality (e.g., student:teacher ratio) did not substantially explain emotional support.