ViVAplus: Impact of early childcare arrangements and the home-learning environment on child development

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the DFG Priority Programme “Education as a Lifelong Process”; Grant to Sabine Weinert and Hans-Günther Roßbach

  • Funding phase 1 (2012-2015):Video-Based Validity Analyses of Measures of Early Childhood Competencies and Home Learning Environment (ViVA)
  • Funding phase 2 (2015/16-2018):Video-Based Validity Analyses and Interrelations between Measures of Early Childhood Competencies and Learning Environments (ViVA II)
  • Final funding phase since 2019 (expanded running time til 2024): Impact of early childcare arrangements and the home-learning environment on child development (ViVAplus)

Principal investigators:

    Prof. Dr. Sabine Weinert
    Prof. Dr. Hans-Günther Roßbach
    Co-Applicant in funding phase 1: Dr. Claudia Hachul
    Co-Applicant of the final phase: Dr. Manja Attig

The very first years in the life of a child set the course for further development as well as educational opportunities and success. Viewed from the perspective of a bioecological model of development, the developmental progress and child education are influenced by the characteristics of different learning environments and the (developing) child characteristics, skills, and competencies from early on. While the home context is the central learning environment in the very early childhood, it is supplemented increasingly by external day care environments.
Thus, developmental progress and child education cannot result from experiences in one single learning environment. Indeed, they are the consequence of the interplay between early institutional and family childcare and education (ECEC), the home-learning environment (HLE) and individual characteristics of the child.
Few studies fulfill the requirement to include all these sources of influence and even fewer include substantial assessments of the HLE going beyond socioeconomic background characteristics. However, German studies in this field are sparse and partially outdated because of the recent fundamental changes in the day care regulations. Therefore, an accurate analysis of the current day care situation and its effects on child development is missing.
The ViVAplus project aims to conduct the developmental impacts of the quality of HLE and the quantity and quality of ECEC, thereby considering various domain-general and domain-specific cognitive as well as socioemotional outcomes in later kindergarten age. It will draw on data from the NEPS infant cohort study and the ViVA-project with a focus on longitudinal analyses across early childhood up to Wave 6 when children are approaching the end of kindergarten and the transition to school.
The infant cohort study of the NEPS includes assessments of data on child characteristics and development as well as on HLE and ECEC. During the third funding period of the DFG priority programme “Education as a Lifelong Process” (2018–2020), datasets of the first six panel waves will be available for the NEPS infant cohort (N = 3,481).
Further information is provided by the supplementary ViVA project. Concerning child characteristics, the still running ViVA project extends the codings of children’s individual learning resources assessed by a habituation–dishabituation paradigm and delivers data on a more demanding set of stimuli in Wave 1 and two domain-specific sets of stimuli in Wave 2.

The main aims of the ViVAplus project are:
(1) To describe the actual care arrangements of the representative sample of children growing up under the changing conditions of early childhood and care in Germany
(2) To generate various comprehensive indicators that set the stage for the analyses to be conducted in ViVAplus
(3) To investigate the impact of HLE and ECEC on child development; and
(4) To study the interactions between HLE, ECEC, and child characteristics (such as temperament, developmental status, or gender and characteristics of other learning environments).

Staff: since 02/2019 Kira Konrad-Ristau; 10/2017 - 10/2019 Dr. Lars Burghardt; 11/2012 - 12/2018 Dr. Jan-David Freund; 11/2012 - 09/2017 Dr. Anja Linberg

Further Information to the DFG Priority Programme you will find here.