Early Childhood Education: A Promising Context for Promoting Low-Income Mothers’ Postsecondary Success

P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Northwestern University
Teresa Eckrich Sommer, Northwestern University

The goal of this paper is to outline a new framework for a more effective approach to the promotion of postsecondary educational advancement by low-income mothers of young children. These mothers lag considerably behind their more advantaged peers, and most education intervention programs for this population have met with limited success. We will present (1) theory and empirical evidence that outline the critical importance of on-time postsecondary education; (2) findings from a small qualitative study that explores the supports and obstacles faced by a sample of low-income mothers of young children at three high-quality early childhood centers; and (3) preliminary ideas for a new intervention model that uses early childhood education programs as the point of access for enhancing low-income mothers’ postsecondary achievement.

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Presented in Session 169: Gender in Higher Education