Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




Early education is an essential part of development (Jalongo, Fennimore, Pattnaik, Laverick, Brewster, & Mutuku, 2004), however, there is much debate about what type of program will best meet the needs of young children. Programs have great variation with children attending as little as 12 hours a week to children attending 40 to 50 hours a week. A qualitative research design was used to analyze playful learning within a high quality early education center examining possible differences between a full day program and a part day program. The focus of this study was on the amount of time children spend playing at a center, and how long they are using materials as the curriculum used intends. Results suggest that young children can become fully engaged in their learning when presented with intentional activities and interesting materials, regardless of how many hours they spend in a classroom.



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