Children who participated in Al’s Caring Pals also showed statistically significant reductions in antisocial and aggressive behaviors over time relative to Comparison children, whose behaviors did not change significantly. Examples of antisocial and aggressive behaviors that were assessed include kicking, hitting, pushing, teasing, and bullying others.
The study also offered an opportunity to assess changes in providers’ perception of their ability to positively impact children in their care. On a measure of perceived provider self-efficacy, Intervention providers self-reported higher levels of positive beliefs about their ability to influence children in their care than those in the Comparison group. One of the benefits of the combined Al’s Caring Pals training and materials may be the providers’ heightened belief that they are capable of responding to children in ways that lead to positive change. Increases in adults’ sense of efficacy are consistently linked to improved practices.
A significant percentage of young children are in family child care homes; yet there is a lack of quality resources and training geared specifically for this setting. Findings suggest that Al’s Caring Pals can help fill this gap. The positive results from this study indicate that Al’s Caring Pals enriches the family child care home environment and helps providers nurture children’s social and emotional development.
For more information, contact VACCRRN at 804-285-0846 or visit www.vachildcare.org or Wingspan at 804-967-9002 or visit www.wingspanworks.com.