Exploring Effective Education of Family Child Care Providers about Issues Related to Indoor Environmental Pollutants: Training Workshop vs. Printed Material
Currently, approximately 6 million children have asthma and close to half a million children suffer from elevated blood lead levels, making asthma and lead exposure among the most pertinent health issues facing children in the United States. With a rapidly growing number of children being cared for in child care programs, it is essential for child care providers to be able to maintain a healthy environment. The present study was designed to test the effectiveness of educating family child care providers about indoor environmental pollutants using two low-cost, widely distributable educational treatments. The two educational treatments, a peer educator-led training workshop (n = 14) and a printed, self-study guidebook received in the mail (n = 17), were assessed by measuring participant knowledge of indoor pollutants as well as exposure-reducing behaviors, both before and after the educational treatment. As hypothesized, both treatment groups (N = 31) showed significant improvement in general knowledge of indoor pollutants; improvement on both lead knowledge t(30) = -2.908, p < .01 and asthma knowledge t(30) = -2.839, p < .01 post-treatment scores were statistically significant. The second hypothesis that there would be a significant improvement in both treatment groups on child care providers' exposure-reducing behaviors was not confirmed. The third and fourth hypotheses that the workshop treatment group would show significantly more improvement on both knowledge and exposure-reducing behavior than the guidebook treatment group were also not confirmed. This study's findings that the guidebook treatment was as equally effective as the training workshop treatment, suggests that there is great potential for creating positive change in family child care providers' exposure-reducing behavior and knowledge of indoor environmental pollutants using a simple, low-cost method, such as an educational guidebook.
Smith Lever funds from the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2005-06-081
indoor environmental pollutants; family child care providers; education
dissertation or thesis