The study attempted to
investigate an evaluation of the attitudes of child caregivers towards child
care practices in nursery schools in Agege and Ikeja Local Government Areas of
Lagos State. In this study, some relevant and related literatures were reviewed
under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was applied in the
assessment of the opinions of the respondents with the aid of the questionnaire
and the sampling technique. A total of 200 (Two hundred) respondents were used
in this study. A total of three null hypotheses were formulated and tested in
this study with the use of the Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient
statistical tool. All the hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
At the end of the tests, the following results emerged: There is a significant relationship between the caregivers’ attitudes
and their impact on childcare practices, there is a significant relationship
between the attitudes of caregivers and childcare practices, there is a
significant problem encountered by caregivers towards childcare practices in
Lagos State, there is a significant relationship between the relevance of
childcare practices and early childhood education in Lagos State, and finally,
there is a significant difference between children who attended childcare
practices and those who did not.
TABLE OF CONTENT
to the Study
of the Study
of the Study
of the Study
2.2 Concept of Early Childhood Care and
2.3 Early Child Care Development
2.4 Concept, Nature and Attitudes of Caregivers
in Early Childhood Education
2.5 Concept, Nature and Functions of School
2.6 The National Policy on Pre-Primary
2.7 Early Child Care, Characteristics and
2.8 Parental Role and Attitude in Early
2.9 Summary of the Review
3.2 Research Design
3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique
3.6 Administration of Instrument
3.7 Procedure for Data Analysis
DATA ANALYSIS AND
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
4.2Description of Bio-Data of Respondents
4.3Analyses of Research Questions
4.3 Testing of Hypotheses
4.4Summary of Findings
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
of the Study
to the Study
The quality of life
for a child and the contributions the child makes to society as an adult can be
traced back to the first few years of life. From birth until about five years
old, a child undergoes tremendous growth and change. If this period of life
includes support for growth in cognition, language, motor skills, adaptive
skills and social-emotional functioning, the child is more likely to succeed in
school and later contribute to society. A good early childhood care and
education provides the intervention programmes that support children’s survival
growth, development and learning including health, nutrition and hygiene, and
cognitive, social, physical and emotional development from birth to entry into
primary school in formal, informal and non-formal settings (UNESCO, 2007).
The early childhood
care provides comprehensive, developmentally appropriate, inclusive educational
opportunities to the children. According to UNESCO (2000), the past decade has
provided more evidence that good quality early childhood care and education,
both in families and in more structured programmes have a positive impact on
the survival, growth, development and learning potential of children. Such
programmes should be comprehensive, focusing on all of the child’s needs and
encompassing health, nutrition and hygiene as well as cognitive and
Until the middle of
the twentieth century, scientists believed that the brain’s development was
determined almost exclusively by genetic factors. Researcher Mark Rosenzweig
(1969) was curious about whether early experiences change the brains
development. He conducted a number of experiments with rats and other animals
to investigate this possibility. Animals were randomly assigned to grow up in
different environments. Animals in an enriched early environment lived in cages
with stimulating features, such as wheels to rotate, steps to clim, livers to
press and toys to manipulate. In contrast, other animals had the early
experience of growing up in standard cages or in barren, isolated conditions.
The results were stunning. The brains of the animals growing up in the enriched
environment developed better than the brains of the animals reared in standard
or isolated conditions. The brains of the “enriched” animals weighed more, had thicker
layers, had more neuronal connections, and had higher levels of neurochemical
activity. Similar findings occurred when older animals were reared in vastly
different environments, although the results were not as strong as for the
younger animals. Such results give hope that enriching the lives of infants and
young children who live in improverised environments can produce positive
changes in their development.
activity has recently been found in children who grow up in a deprived environment
(Cicchetti, 2001). A child who grew up in the unresponsive and non stimulating
environment of a Romanian orphanage showed considerably depressed brain
activity compared with a normal child.
The profusion of
connections described earlier provides the growing brain with flexibility and
resilience. Consider 16 years old Micheal Rehbein. At age 4 ½, he began to
experience uncontrollable seizures, as many as 400 a day. Doctors said that
the only solution was to remove the left hemisphere of his brain where the
seizures were occurring.
believes that what wires the brain or rewires it, in the case of Michael
Rehbein is repeated experience (Nash, 1997). Each time a baby tries to ouch an
attractive object or gazes intently at a face, tiny bursts of electricity shoot
through the brain, knitting neurons together into circuit what results are some
the behavioural milestones. For example, at about 2 months of age, the
motor-control centres of the brain develop to the point at which infant can
suddenly reach out and grab a nearby object. At about 4 months, the neural
connect necessary for depth perception begin to form. And about 12 months, the
brain’s speech centers are poised to produce one of infancy’s magical moments
when the infant litters his or her first word.
In sum, neural
connections are formed early in life. The infant’s brain literally is waiting
for experiences to determine how connections are made (Greenough, 2001,
Johnson, 2000, 2001, 2005). Before birth, it appears that genes mainly direct
how the brain establishes basic wiring patterns. Neurons grow and travel to
distant places awaiting further instructions. After birth, environmental
experiences guide the brain’s development. The flowing stream of sight, sounds,
smells, touches, language, and eye contact help shape the many of the
conditions that threaten the survival of infants and young children also leave
those who do survive at risk, often with physical, cognitive and emotional
impairments. From which they will never fully recover. Thus the early childhood
years offers an unparalleled window of opportunity to impact the future
well-being of these vulnerable children. Great attention should therefore be
paid to the early years of the children, knowing the vulnerability of their
situation and how what happen to them at this stage can affect their entire
life. The care these children receive has powerful effects on their survival,
growth and development.
To a child, the world
is an awesome place where experiences are just waiting to surprise and excite
the young growing mind. Children are naturally curious, they want to explore
and learn from everything they can see, touch and do. If their explorations
bring pleasure or success, they will want to learn more and discover the things
around them. Piaget had asserted that the ability of a child to know the
properties of and object is determined by the child’s interaction with the
object. It is during these early years that children form attitudes about
learning that will last a lifetime (Cartton, 2003). Children who therefore
receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years are
expected to be creative and adventurous learners throughout their lives
otherwise they tend to have a negative disposition towards learning in later
(Einon, 1999, Lew & Bettner, 1996).
Research has amply
indicated that children’s capacity to learn, demonstrated in their level of
task persistence, is greatly influenced by the interaction of both the physical
and the psychosocial environmental variables. UNICEF (2001) posits that early
childhood experiences should take place within the context of learning through
living environment stimulated by interaction with other children, adults and
manipulative materials (Osanyin, 2004).
The value of adults
assistance or involvement in childhood developmental activities is also being
noted in research. The study of Shonkoff and Phillips (2000) indicates that
children’s developmental trajectory is critically mediated by appropriate,
effective relationships with loving and consistent caregivers as they relate to
children through play. When adults observe children or join them in
child-driven play, they are given a unique opportunity to see the world through
a child’s vintage point as he navigates a world so perfectly created to just to
fit his needs. The interactions that occur through play tell children that
adults are fully paying attention to them and help to build enduring
relationships (Tamis-Lemonda et al, 2004, Tsao, 2002). Those children who
receive the right sort of support and encouragement during these years tend to
be creative, adventurous learners throughout this sort of support and
interaction are likely to have a much different attitude about learning later
contribution to the field of child development and early childhood education
was the recognitive of the role of caregivers in the fostering development of
children in the institutionalized settings. Development in children is fostered
when caregivers interact with them physically, orally and emotionally,
stimulating children and providing them with clear and consistent cues to
behaviours. According to Elias & Arnold (2006), Zins (2004), Cohn (1990),
Henry (1990), studies on brain development have such as close interaction with
caring adults and engaging hands-on activities have been found capable of
enhancing the brain’s development (Healy, 1998).
interaction plays a profound role in the development of self-regulation, cognitive
development, language acquisition, and socio-emotional adjustment.
Attitude refers to
relatively enduring organizations of feelings, beliefs and behaviour tendencies
toward other persons, groups, ideas or objects. Attitudes play an important
role in virtually every aspect of social life. They exert a powerful influence
upon the nature of our relationship with others. For example, positive
attitudes towards particular persons lead us to seek them out, to do things for
them, and to imitate their actions while negative attitudes lead us to avoid,
reject and possibly even harm them. In a sense, many of our reactions to other
may be viewed as largely attitudinal in nature. Secondly, attitudes influence
most important decisions. They also determine our position in many crucial
social issues and in this manner indirectly shape the nature of the society in
which we live. We are rarely completely neutral to the persons, groups, object
or ideas around us. Rather we usually have beliefs about them, feeling toward them
and behavioural tendencies with respect to them. When these three types of
around a particular object and are relatively enduring.
They may be viewed as
constituting an attitude. It is obvious that children are not born with all
their complex attitudes in place. Rather these are formed through a gradual
process in which classical conditioning, instrumental conditioning and
observational learning all play a role. Acting together over a period of many
years, these result in the development of many attitudes which are highly
resistant to later change (Thurstone, 1932).
Attempt to alter
attitudes often involve persuasive communications while many factors influence
the success of such appeals. Attitudes toward many different stimuli are influenced
by their frequency of exposure – the more often they are encountered the more
they are liked (Thurstone, 1932).
It is evident from the
above that to get caregivers adopt desirable child care practices, we need
first to alter certain negative attitudes which they hold.
It should be noted
that mothers are exclusively caretakers of their own babies and young children.
These activities are quite important but must be handled with flexibility. The
Nigerian mother is too eager to take care of her child and she is always all
over the child. However, today there is this craze for wealth. There are career
women predominantly in the urban areas. They leave for their various offices as
early as 5am and return back home about .
One of the many reasons for coming home late is traffic congestion. These
children are therefore entrusted into the hands of unlearned housemaids,
illiterate nannies, grandmothers or grand aunties who may be lackadaisical
about their health and nutrition. This method of care giving was a common
phenomenon in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. From the 80s, uncountable number of
day centres, crèches and play groups sprang up. With Nigeria in her 50s, the career
woman now gives a sigh of relief, thrusting her child into the sophisticated
care of caregivers in the nearest care-giving centres.
Because of long hours
of working, the child is neglected in the area of ECCE by the mother. The child
must have gone to bed by ,
most probably without dinner and if there is, not a balanced diet. The
formative years of the growing children may be thus maladjusted.
of the Study
This study seeks to
ascertain the caregivers attitude towards child care practices in nursery
1.To access the impact of care givers towards
child care practices.
2.To find out the attitude of are givers towards
child care practices.
3.To find out the various problems in which the
care givers usually encounter towards child care practices.
4.To find the extent to which child care
practices is relevant to the early childhood education.
5.To find out the difference between the
children who were presented for child care practices and those who do not as
regards to their early childhood education.
1.To what extent do care givers impact on
2.What is the attitude of care givers towards
child care practices?
3.What are the various problems in which the
care givers usually encountered towards child care practices?
4.To what extent is child care practice relevant
to the early childhood education?
5.What is the difference between the children
who were presented for childcare practices and those who do not as regards
1.There is no significant relationship between
the caregivers and their impact on childcare practices.
2.There is no significant relationship between
the attitude of caregivers and childcare practices.
3.There is no significant problem encountered by
care givers towards child care practices.
4.There is no significant relationship between
the relevance of child care practice and early childhood education.
5.There is no significant difference between
children who attended childcare practices and those who did not as regards
of the Study
This study will be significant
in that it emphasize the importance of caregivers.
of the Study
The study will focus
on both high and low density area of Lagos Metropolis. Nursery schools will be
visited. For the high density area Agege will be selected as an example whereas
for the low density area Ikeja will be studied. The study will be limited to
caregivers attitude towards childcare practices. This is because it would be
too wide if other areas are being introduced and will be difficult to be
covered for eh short period of the study.
The cognitive world of
the preschool child is creative, free and fanciful. Preschool children’s
imaginations work overtime, and their mental grasp of the world improves. This
work covers the cognitive development in early childhood, it focuses on two
theories: Piagets and Vygotsky’s.
stage stretches from approximately 2 to 7 years of age. It is a time when
stable concepts are formed, mental reasoning emerges, egocentrism begins
strongly and then weakens and magical beliefs are constructed. The label
preoperational emphasizes that the child at this stage cannot yet think
something through without acting it out.
What are operations?
Operations are internalized sets of actions that allow children to do mentally
what before they did physically. Mentally adding and subtracting numbers are
examples of operations.
Thought in the
preoperational stage is flawed and not well organized. Preoperational thought
marks the beginning of children’s ability to reconstruct at the level of
thought what has been established in their behaviour. Preoperational thought
also involves a transition from primitive to more sophisticated use of symbols.
Preoperational thought can be divided into two substages: Symbolic function and
The symbolic function
substage is the first substage of preoperational thought, which occurs roughly
between 2 and 4 years of age. In this stage, the young child gains the ability
to mentally represent an object that is not present. The ability to engage in
symbolic thought is called symbolic function, and it vastly expands the child’s
mental world. Young children use scribed designs to represent people, houses,
cars, clouds and so on. Other examples of symbolism in early childhood are
language and the prevalence of pretend play. In sum, the ability to think
symbolically and to represent the world mentally predominates in this early
substage of preoperational thought (Delocache, 2004).
The intuitive thought
substage is the second substage of preoperational thought, which occurs between
appropriately 4 and 7 years of age. In this substage, children begins to use
primitive reasoning and want to know the answers to all sorts of questions.
Piaget called this time period intuitive because, on the one hand, young
children seen to sure about their knowledge and understanding, yet they are so
unaware of how they know what they know. That is, they say they know something
but know it without the use of rational thinking.
Theory of Development
ideas about the zone of proximal development.
Zone of Proximal Development
The zone proximal
development (ZDP) is Vygotsky’s (1962) term for the range of tasks that are too
difficult for a child to master alone but that can be learned with the guidance
and assistance of adults or more skilled children. Thus, the lower limit of the
ZDP is the level of problem solving reached by the child working independently.
The upper limit is the level of additional responsibility the child can accept
with the assistance of an able instructor.
changing the level of support. Over the course of a teaching session, a more
skilled person adjusts the amount of guidance to fit the child’s current
performance level. When the task the student is learning is new, the more
skilled person may use direct instruction. As the student’s competence
increases, less guidance is given.
According to Vygotsky,
children use speech not only for social communication, but also to help them
solve tasks. Vygotsky (1962) further argued that young children use language to
plan, guide and monitor their behaviour. This use of language for
self-regulation is called private speech.
Vygotsky said that
language and thought initially develop independently of each other and then
merge. He emphasized that all mental functions have external, or social,
origins. Children must use language to communicate with others before they can
focus inward on their own thoughts. Children also must communicate externally
and use language for a long period of time before they can make the transition
from external to internal speech. This transition period occurs between 3 and 7
years of age and involves talking to oneself. After a while, the self-talk
becomes second nature to children, and they can act without speaking aloud.
Vygotsky argued that
children who use a lot of private speech are more socially competent than those
who do not (Santiago-Delefosse & Delefosse, 2002). He argued that private
speech represents an early transition in becoming more socially communicative.
For Vygotsky, when young children talk to themselves, they are using language
to govern their behaviour and guide themselves. For example, a child working on
a puzzle might say to herself,; “Which pieces should I put together first? I
will try these green ones first. Now I need some blue ones. No, that blue one
does not fit there. I will try it over here”.
support for Vgotsky’s view that private speech plays a positive role in
children’s development (Winsler, Carlton,
& Barry, 2000).
Researchers have found
that children use private speech more when tasks are difficult, when their
errors have been pointed out to them, and when they are not sure how to proceed
(Berk, 1994). They also have revealed that children who use private speech are
more attentive and improved their performance more than children who do not use
private speech (Berk & Spuhl, 1995).
predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a
certain idea, object, person, or situation.
Practices: Is the totality of care given to a child from
conception to adolescent.
term refers to all ECD education and training development practitioners. This
encompasses the whole spectrum of ECD educators, trainers, facilitators,
lecturers, caregivers, development officers, etc, including those qualified by
their experience, and who are involved in providing services in homes, centres,
to the behaviours and practices of a caregiver.
person who looks after infants and young children.
to changes in the individuals thought, intelligence, and language.
pattern of movement of change that begins at conception and continues through
the early childhood of the child which include cognitive, biological and
Childhood: Refers to children between zero and eight
years of age (0 – 8 years).
Childhood Education (ECE): Is education given in an educational
institution to children from birth to eight years old.
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