Competencies and characteristics of child care aides assessed by child care center directors and child development specialists Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/tx31qn06b

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  • The central problem of the study was to explore the relationship between the minimum competencies and characteristics chosen by child development specialists as necessary for a child care aide and those sought by child care center directors when hiring an aide. A survey instrument was developed consisting of 49 basic competencies and characteristics that may or may not be necessary for a beginning child care aide to possess. A Likert scale of five categories ranging from "most important" (1), to "of no importance" (5) was used. The highest possible mean score was 1.000 and the lowest possible mean score was 5.000. Seventy-five randomly selected directors of child care centers in Oregon and 75 Oregon child development specialists received the survey. A 60. 6 percent return was received from the total sample; with 44 percent returned by directors of child care centers and 77% percent returned by child development specialists. The data for the study were subjected to a significance test using the "t" statistic. Only items #13 (Prepare simple meals and/or snacks), and #25 (Be honest with children), were rejected in the test of significant difference. Each of the other forty-seven (47) items was retained. These findings indicate that mean scores for the two items (#13 and #25) were significantly different for the two groups. The mean score for item #13, the specialist sample (x = 2. 210), was found to be significantly more important than was the director mean score value (TZ = 2. 687). For item #25, the director mean score (1.030) was determined to be significantly more important than was the specialists mean score (1. 263). The significant difference seems to relate to difference of opinion as to the importance of the item. In order to determine which items were considered "most important" by directors of child care centers and child development specialists, the mean scores of 1. 413 or less for both groups were ranked. There were 21 competencies and/or characteristics with means less than 1. 414. Ten that were considered the most important by directors are concerned with various aspects of developing and maintaining meaningful relationships with children. For the child development specialists, nine of the top ranked items were also concerned with building relationships with children. The implication is that both groups prefer a beginning child care aide to exhibit not only a definite liking for children, but be able to work effectively with children. For both directors of child care centers and child development specialists, the nine items considered the least important were compared. The same items appeared in each list but in different order. Analysis of the data prompted the following recommendations: 1. It is recommended that the importance of the competencies and characteristics tested in this study be further substantiated by using the same 49 items in future research. More controversial items could be included, or the original items more negatively stated in order for the items to be more accurately rated. Another means of gaining a more accurate rating would be to design a tool of measurement that would pit the items against each other, or test the degree of proficiency required for each item. 2. More research is needed to explore what methods in hiring procedures are actually used by those who hire aides in a child care center. 3. The effectiveness of the California Psychological Inventory (Part I and II) should be more fully tested in order to see if this tool can indeed be used as an accurate predictor of a child care aide's performance in a work situation. 4. Those suggestions listed in the back of each survey that the respondents felt were necessary for a child care aide to possess, yet were omitted from the survey, should be tested more thoroughly through future research.
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