Maternal reports from the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys were determined whether preschool enrollment strengthened the associations between paternal, maternal, and allocaregivers’ (e.g. grandparents, aunts, uncles) engagement in literacy-type and social activities and children’s literacy and social skills. The sample consisted of 47,832 mother-father pairs, other household members, and preschool-aged children in cultural communities in 14 African countries. Research Findings: Household resources, educational attainment, and educational materials were consistent predictors of children’s literacy and social skills. Children whose mothers, fathers, and allocaregivers read to them and who were in preschool performed better on the literacy skills assessments than those whose caregivers did not read to them and did not attend preschool. Reading was a better predictor of children’s literacy skills than storytelling or naming/counting objects. Preschool enrollment appears to be a better predictor of children’s literacy and social skills than caregiver engagement. Practice and Policy: Expanding literacy materials, encouraging father involvement, and sustaining collaborations between parents and allocaregivers with preschool programs may help to cultivate children's social and literacy skills.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology