Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Newman, Michael E.

Committee Member

Peterson, Donna J.

Committee Member

Wilmoth, Joe D.

Committee Member

Davis, Louise E.

Committee Member

Swortzel, Kirk A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


This study sought to determine whether phase 1 early childhood classrooms receiving classroom resources and technical assistance for early childhood teachers through the Allies for Quality Care project would have greater improvements in process quality than phase 2 classrooms receiving only technical assistance. Process quality refers to what children experience in the early childhood classroom that directly impacts their development and was assessed through the Environment Rating Scales (ERS). Classroom resources were provided to improve the quality of the environment that children experience. The technical assistance was one-on-one to help early childhood teachers understand developmentally appropriate practices. The study examined whether the following variables impacted quality: accessibility of materials; field technical assistant; total number of early childhood teachers, total at pre-assessment, total at post-assessment, and same teacher at pre- to post-assessment; classroom and teacher technical assistance hours; teacher turnover; early childhood teachers’ level of education, child development credentials, position, years of experience, and race; number of children present at post-assessment; and days between pre- and post-assessment. To determine if the variables were correlated with the ERS post-assessment scores bivariate correlations were generated. While level of education, child development credentials, years of experience, race, and total number of early childhood teachers at pre-assessment had strong correlations with the post-assessment scores, further analyses of accessibility of materials, or missed accessibility, was the only extraneous variable to remain strongly associated with the dependent variable in ITERS-R classrooms. A Factorial Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) was used to study the differences between the phases of early childhood classrooms. When findings revealed differences between the groups, another ANCOVA was used to evaluate group differences for each scale (ITERS-R for infant and toddler classrooms and ECERS-R for preschool classrooms) separately. Both phase and scale impacted the ERS post-assessment scores for the overall sample. For differences between the phases for the individual scales, no significant differences were found. However, infant and toddler classrooms that missed accessibility of materials had significantly lower ERS post-assessment scores than classrooms that did not miss accessibility.