Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

William Stone


Early childhood education (ECE) programs play an important role in a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. ECE programs strive to prepare the students for kindergarten. The importance and value of ECE programs have increasingly become more important to state and federal officials. As a result, these officials have made significant efforts to make ECE programs more accessible. When it comes to selecting educational programs for their children, parents are frequently the primary decision makers. Rather than parental choice, studies usually focus on stakeholder perspectives on quality care. The goal of this 3-phase study was to better understand the factors that influence parental decision-making when choosing ECE programs for their children in the inner-city area of the county studied. A program review of publicly available ECE program information, parent and director surveys, and parent interviews were used to collect data. Findings revealed a lack of publicly available ECE program information and that parents perceived their ECE program as high quality overall. Parents placed a high importance on environment, teachers and instruction, and cultural competence. Findings also revealed that parents’ cultural background, education level, and household income did not influence the value they placed on the indicators of quality.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License