In the present study we examined the effects of age at entry to preschool in interaction with maternal education and the quality of child's home literacy environment on children's language. The sample included 162 children, who were divided into two groups depending on their age at entry to the preschool institution: children who entered preschool at approximately 3 years and at approximately 1 year of age. The average age of the children was 38 months at the time of the first measurement and 50 months at the time of the second measurement one year later. Children's language was assessed using a Language Development Scale and a Storytelling Test. Early entry to preschool was found to have no negative effects on children's language competence at the age of 38 and 50 months. Children who entered preschool at an early age showed higher storytelling competence than those who entered preschool at 3 years of age on both measurements, although the differences were not significant. Children differed in their language competence considering their mothers' educational level, on the other hand, the effect of the quality of home literacy environment was not significant. The obtained results were interpreted in the light of the Slovene preschool curriculum as well as of the current practice observed in Slovene preschool institutions.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.