This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Vocabulary Development of Preschool Children and Its Relation to Childcare Quality




Bell, Gracie

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


In the past decade, there has been an increase of the numbers of children in childcare centers and in preschools. Because of this increase, there has been a renewed interest in the effects of childcare centers and preschool programs on children’s cognitive and social development. This particular study focuses on one component of children’s cognitive development – their vocabulary development. Children in this study were involved in the Childcare Quality Enhancement Project (CQEP), which was a three-year short-term, longitudinal study. A total of 502 children from 47 different classrooms participated in the study. Children were given two different vocabulary measures – the PPVT-R and the KDI - at the beginning and the end of the academic school year. Childcare quality was assessed using the National Association for the Education of Young Children Accreditation standards. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between various aspects of childcare quality and children’s vocabulary development. There were significant differences in vocabulary scores between children from different quality centers across the academic year. Two specific quality indices, teacher education and the verbal stimulation, had an effect on changes in children’s vocabulary scores.