Anita McGinty, University of Virginia
Lori Skibbe, University of Virginia
Laura Justice, University of Virginia
Abstract: This study utilized the data set from the longitudinal NICHD Study of Early Child Care to examine the impact preschool classroom quality has on first grade reading achievement for children with language impairment (LI) at 54 months of age. Studies suggest that strong classroom quality is a protective factor in academic achievement, but this hypothesis has not been examined for children with LI. A linear regression model showed no main effects of caregiver or setting quality on first grade reading for children with LI, yet we observed a significant and positive interaction between LI status and caregiver quality on reading outcomes. The data suggest caregiver quality, rather than setting quality, has a positive impact on first grade reading for children without LI but does not serve as a protective factor in reading outcomes for children with LI. Clinical implications, limitations of this study, and further research directions will be discussed.