Parent education for kindergarten readiness with low income families: a mixed methods study

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


School of Education and Health Sciences


Advisor: Carolyn R. Benz


The purpose of this study was to learn the needs of parents who are involved in the Taking Off To Success program and how the program can meet those needs. The Taking Off to Success program goal is to prepare children for kindergarten. The academic success of children living in poverty is important to the economy of Dayton Ohio and the voice of the parents is vital to helping children succeed.There were three themes presented in the review of the literature: parent education and involvement, early childhood literacy, and social justice. These three areas represented the focus of the Taking Off To Success program goals to assist parents in understanding their role as their child's most important teacher.The mixed methods used in this study included case studies of three mothers involved in the Taking Off To Success program. After the qualitative data were collected a survey was developed and 35 parents from the program completed this survey. This QUAL--quan model (Morse and Niehaus, 2009) was appropriate for this research question.Seven themes were identified during the research. The three main themes included: making friends with other parents, school and the importance of an education, and a need to learn more about parenting specifically in the area of discipline. The four sub-themes were: gaining self-confidence, poverty, listening to others, and mental health.Implications from this study include the need for parent education programming to include a component for building social capital. Parents living in poverty need the knowledge of child development, as well as the need to alleviate the social isolation they feel. Teacher education should require understanding families living in poverty and the daily struggles they face. With this knowledge the teacher in the classroom might become an ally to families, rather than a purveyor of stereotypes of family deficiency.


Early childhood education Parent participation Ohio Dayton, Low-income students Ohio Dayton, Kindergarten Parent participation Ohio Dayton, Readiness for school Ohio Dayton, Early Childhood Education, Families and Family Life, Preschool Education, parent education, kindergarten readiness

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