Evaluation of occupational child care programs in Iowa
The purposes of this study were (1) to examine the achievement, attitude, and performance of students in occupational child care training programs in both secondary schools and area community colleges in Iowa, (2) to evaluate the effectiveness of child care training in occupational home economics in Iowa by assessing occupational status of graduates six months after graduation, and (3) to make recommendations for occupational child care training programs in Iowa;Subjects included the 84 students in nine schools in Iowa that had occupational child care programs during spring 1986. Five programs were in secondary schools and four in post-secondary schools (community colleges). Data collection devices consisted of an achievement test, attitude inventory, performance device, and an occupational follow-up questionnaire;Item analysis and reliability were calculated for the achievement test. Means and standard deviations, percentages, and frequency counts were the statistical procedures used for the attitude inventory and the performance device. Frequency counts were used for eight of the nine items on the follow-up questionnaire. Responses on how graduates liked their jobs were coded into five categories to determine areas of interest about their jobs in item nine;The mean score on the achievement test was 25, and 63 percent, with a standard deviation of 4.52. Students' performance on the achievement test was judged acceptable. The attitude inventory focused on attitudes toward being with children; the mean score was 29.67 with a standard deviation of 2.19. Generally, students tended to have positive attitudes toward children. The mean scores of the performance test was 56.76, indicating that teachers judged that students could perform the tasks related to child care well;Data from the 47 students who responded to Phase II of the study showed that 35 (74%) were employed. Of the 35 employed respondents, 18 were in child care, or 51 percent of those employed. Graduates who worked in child care had jobs that included babysitting, nanny, day care/preschool teaching, and child care assistants. Graduates indicated they loved working with children and people, liked their working environments, and were satisfied with their jobs.