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Quality of Early Childhood Education and Mental Health of Teachers and Children

Grant number: 16/05116-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2016
Effective date (End): July 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Psychiatry
Principal Investigator:Sheila Cavalcante Caetano
Grantee:Marília Mariano
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Although the legislation for Early Childhood Education in Brazil predict the development of children until 5 years, there is a great heterogeneity in the functioning and quality of these schools. The training of professionals, pedagogical and curriculum proposals, structural and procedural conditions, social interactions between teachers, families, students and staff, educational practices, climate in the classroom and teachers' mental health have been identified in empirical studies as relevant analysis variables to assess the quality of education as well as the impact on child development. The objective of this research is to investigate the quality of early childhood education and associations between mental health of teachers and children, in a representative sample of preschool children in the public education network in the metropolitan region of São Paulo. It is hypothesized that schools rated as good quality will have teachers with better levels of self-efficacy, in pedagogy, establishing positive relationships with children, parents and staff; and lower rates of burnout and symptoms of psychopathology. Those of good to excellent quality institutions, it is estimated that children show better cognitive functioning, and better socio-emotional and language skills, and, on the other hand, few symptoms internalizing and externalizing. The differential of this proposal is to analyze which variables present in the school, including the teacher, impact positively or negatively on child development and mental health. The results of this research may be useful for the development of public policies in the areas of health and education as well as for the development of interventional and preventive technologies.

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