In 1996, OMEP-Hong Kong published a document titled “Criteria for High Quality Programmes of Early Childhood Education and Care in Hong Kong”. We recently received funding from the Government’s Quality Education Fund for a research project to develop and (validate) a Programme Assessment Scale (PAS) for kindergartens and child-care centres. This paper describes preliminary findings from our study and we hope that this scale will be useful tool for administrators of early childhood programmes. The PAS was developed based on the OMEP criteria and included the following ten area: Curriculum design, Interactions between staff and students, Interactions between staff and parents, Staffing patterns, Staff qualifications and development, Physical administration, and Evaluation. The degree to which programmes met the criteria in these area was assessed utilizing a 3-point rating scale (not met, partially met and fully met) and through observation of classes for 4-year-olds. Preliminary results suggest that (i) it was possible to make a distinction between meeting minimum and high quality standards in the various areas measured by the PAS; (ii) there was variability in the ratings for the different areas; few programmes achieved uniformly high ratings in all areas; and (iii) administrators were concerned with improving the quality of their programmes. More detailed findings will be presented and their implications will be discussed.
|Published - Mar 1999