Alison Hooper

Expected Graduation: 2017, Completed

  • OPRE Child Care Research Scholars Dissertation Grant


Early Childhood Development, Early Childhood Education

Research Interest(s)

Childcare providers, Home-based childcare


  • Rena Hallam, Advisor

Alison Hooper

Alison Hooper completed her Ph.D in 2017 and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama’s College of Education. She is interested in measuring and improving child care quality, especially in settings that serve children at risk. During her time in the HDFS master’s and Ph.D. programs, she had the opportunity to be involved with a number of projects within the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood. These experiences helped her shape her research interests and specifically led her to focus on studying home-based child care providers for her dissertation. Prior to graduate school, she taught kindergarten in Wilmington, Delaware. Alison was motivated to attend graduate school to study how to reduce the achievement gap beginning in early childhood and to explore ways to support the teachers and child care providers working with children at risk.

Dissertation: Identifying and Exploring Profiles of Home-Based Child Care Providers: A Mixed Methods Study of Licensed and Unlicensed Providers

Research Projects

Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation Child Care Research Scholars Dissertation Grant (PI Rena Hallam). “Identifying and exploring profiles of home-based child care providers: A mixed methods study of licensed and unlicensed providers.” ($50,000). 2015-2017

Recent Publications

  • Hooper, A., & Hallam, R. (accepted). Exploring the relationship between global quality and child engagement in toddler child care classrooms. Journal of Research in Childhood Education.
  • Hallam, R., & Hooper, A. (in press). Home-based care: An opportunity for promoting high quality inclusive environments for young children with disabilities. DEC Recommended Practices Monograph Series — Environment Recommended Practices.
  • Paris, C., & Seefeldt, A. (2012). Nancy File, Jennifer J. Mueller and Debora Basler Wisneski (Eds). Curriculum in early childhood education: Re-examined, rediscovered, renewed. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 33(4), 392-396.

Recent presentations

  • Hooper, A. (2016, July). Identifying profiles of home-based child care providers based on their beliefs and practices. Poster presented at 2016 National Research Conference for Early Childhood. Washington, DC.
  • Hooper, A. (2016, April). The influence of early childhood teacher certification on kindergarten and first grade students’ academic outcomes. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Washington, DC.
  • Hooper, A., Shaw, S., & Hallam, R. (2016, February). Non-parental care arrangements utilized by families of children with disabilities. Poster presented at 2016 Conference for Research Innovations in Early Intervention. San Diego, California.
  • Bargreen, K., Hooper, A., Hallam, R., & Skrobot, C. (2015, June). The use of curriculum and implementation of learning activities in family child care settings. Poster presented at the 2015 NAEYC Professional Development Institute. New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Hallam, R., Buell, M. J., Han, M., Bargreen, K., & Hooper, A. (2015, March). The language and literacy environments of family child care programs participating in a Quality Rating and Improvement System. Poster presented at the 2015 Society for Research in Child Development. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Hooper, A., & Hallam, R. (2014, February). Exploring the Relationship between Global Quality and Child Engagement in Toddler Child Care Classrooms. Poster presented at the 2014 Conference for Research Innovations in Early Intervention. San Diego, California.

Professional Experience

  • Limited Term Researcher, Delaware Institute of Excellence in Early Childhood, University of Delaware (February 2014-present)
  • Instructor, HDFS 412 Inclusive Math Curriculum and Assessment (Fall 2015)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Delaware Stars, University of Delaware (September 2011-January 2014)
  • Kindergarten Teacher, Urban Promise School, Wilmington, DE (August 2008-June 2011)

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 Strattner-Gregory Child Advocacy Award, Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware
  • 2015 Steele Symposium Graduate Paper Award—2nd Place, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware
  • 2014 Amy Rextrew Graduate Student Award, Steele Symposium Graduate Poster Award—1st Place, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware
  • 2012 Strattner-Gregory Child Advocacy Award, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware
  • Target Early Childhood Reading Grant, August 2012 ($2000) Designed and implemented a parent education and family literacy night at Urban Promise School about how to use children’s literature to support social and emotional development; created a lending library of books with supporting discussion guides on a range of social and emotional topics.

Past Education

  • M.S. Human Development and Family Studies, University of Delaware, 2013
  • B.S. Elementary Education & B.S. Early Childhood Education, Grove City College, 2008