Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Public-private partnerships: Perceptions and tensions of partnerships and teacher quality in early childhood education
by Du, Evelina, Ed.D., Mills College, 2014, 86; 3628737
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation was aimed at providing information on developing and sustaining public-private partnerships (PPPs) in early childhood education as a way to increase efficiency and effectiveness on how resources are allocated. This study also emphasizes how teachers are perceived and supported within the PPP context. Studies have shown that investing in early childhood education yields the greatest gains to one's life and society at large. Yet, the early childhood field continues to battle waves of budget cuts while striving to convince policymakers and the public that early education is critical and necessary.

Although PPP presents itself as a new way of doing business by combining resources from the public and private sectors and redistributed based on the shared goal and vision of the PPP, there is limited research on PPPs and even more scarce specifically related to early childhood. The goal of this study is to provide exposure to the early childhood field on how PPPs can be formed and sustained using the Educare model as one example of a PPP in early childhood.

This was a qualitative designed to capture rich conversations and experiences of research participants that are relevant and appropriate to the early childhood field. Grounded theory was used in this study to learn from research participants' perceptions of PPPs based on their experience and expertise in PPP and early childhood education.

This study used theoretical sampling to target research participants at a specific Educare development site to capture real time and real life experiences in developing a PPP in early childhood education. The Educare model was developed by the Ounce of Prevention Fund in 2000 aimed at "narrow[ing] the achievement gap for students in high-risk communities" (Ounce of Prevention, Educare schools, 2011). The Educare model has set requirements for teachers and all related job categories that will work in an Educare school including professional development requirements. The Educare school also has a salary structure that is competitive to the local public elementary schools.

Five themes were identified in the findings and discussed in relation to the significance of this study. The findings from this study have implications for early childhood administrators, educators, funders, advocates, and the field at large on maximizing the usage of existing resources. The findings from this study, including questions raised, are significant in development of partnerships in early childhood education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ketelle, Diane
Commitee: Donahue, David, Shimpi, Priya
School: Mills College
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education finance, Educational leadership, Early childhood education
Keywords: Early childhood education, Educare, Education funding, Private funding, Public funding, Public private partnerships
Publication Number: 3628737
ISBN: 9781321050448
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