Validity and Reliability of the Head Start Body Start Infant and Toddler Outdoor Play Space Assessment
Dolan, Samantha Jo
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Abstract Validity and Reliability of the Head Start Body Start Infant and Toddler Outdoor Play Space Assessment Samantha Dolan The quality of early care and education environments is associated with the learning and development gains of young children. Researchers are increasingly exploring the spaces that children access in childcare and preschool settings and have established reliable and valid tools for measuring quality of indoor early care and education environments and outdoor preschool environments. These tools are commonly used to assess environments and also serve as checklists for those designing a setting or looking to improve their care or preschool environments. Currently, no measurement tool designed specifically for infant and toddler outdoor spaces has been evaluated for reliability and validity. Head Start Body Start has created an infant and toddler outdoor play space assessment tool to evaluate the quality of outdoor environments for young children, and to serve as a checklist for care providers. In this study, the reliability and validity of this tool were assessed by analyzing content validity, construct validity, and internal consistency. An additional study differentiated between traditional play spaces and naturalized play spaces. The content validity panel indicated that, with slight revisions, the tool was an appropriate measure of quality in infant and toddler outdoor play spaces. Further analysis identified three underlying factors that emerged from the items in the areas of social and emotional development, motor and perceptual development, and approaches to learning. Domain scores for these three factors were compared between traditional play spaces and natural play spaces, revealing higher scores for the naturalized spaces. Additional revisions to the tool are suggested to increase reliability and validity. Implications for practice and directions for future research are discussed.
- Education - Seattle