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Expanding Preschool Access for Disadvantaged Children Proposal 1 - A framework for state and local governments is proposed, calling for establishment of high-quality programs in areas where preschool programs don't exist, improved quality in areas with inadequate programs, and expanded access where high-quality programs do exist. The idea is to reduce the income-based gap in school readiness between disadvantaged and higher-income preschool-aged children and to improve school outcomes for disadvantaged preschool children. (Elizabeth U. Cascio and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, The Hamilton Project at Brookings, June 2014) ...

Impact Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration: National Evaluation of Three Approaches to Improving Preschoolers’ Social and Emotional Competence, Executive Summary - Because low-income children face risks to their social-emotional development, the national Head Start CARES project evaluated the effects of three approaches: the Incredible Years Teacher Training Program, Preschool PATHS and Tools of the Mind-Play. All three changed teachers' practice. Two showed consistent positive impacts, PATHS and The Incredible Years. Though there were no impacts on kindergarten outcomes, findings show evidence-based approaches can improve preschoolers social-emotional competence when administered at scale. (Pamela Morris, et al., Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, June 2014)...

Access to High Quality Early Care and Education: Readiness and Opportunity Gaps in America - Disadvantaged children fall behind in abilities essential to school success prior to age 3; achievement gaps are evident at kindergarten entry when children in the lowest income quintile are 20 months behind children in the top quintile. In the last decade, public investment in preschool has not been enough to address the inequality. That decade saw an improvement in state pre-K investment which might have produced very small increases in access to quality, but its impact was limited because states reduced their per-child funding as enrollment expanded. (Milagros Nores and W. Steven Barnett, CEELO and NIEER, May 2014)...

The State of Preschool 2013 First Look - Forty states and the District of Columbia had state-supported preschool in 2012-13, serving 1.34 million children. Total enrollment decreased by 4,319 from the year before. Cost per child varied from the District of Columbia at $14,700 to less than $2,500 in nine states. State funding per child declined in 21 of 41 states. (W. Steven Barnett et al., National Center for Education Statistics, May 2014)...

Early Learning and Child Care: Federal Funds Support Multiple Programs with Similar Goals - Federal support for early learning and child care goes to 45 programs enrolling children from birth to age 5, the largest of which is Head Start. The other programs vary in size, target population and structure. In its 2012 report, GAO noted that Education and HHS needed to extend their coordination efforts to other agencies with early learning and child care programs. As of December 2013, the agencies had taken initial steps toward greater coordination but need to follow through with their plans to include these other federal agencies in an inter-departmental work group. (Kay E. Brown, U.S. Government Accountability Office, February 2014)...

State-Funded PreK Policies on External Classroom Observations: Issues and Status - As more states fund PreK to enhance school readiness, accountability becomes a greater issue in terms of cost and program quality. In the absence of standardized tests, classroom observation of preschoolers takes on greater importance. Which protocol is used? How capable are observers of generating reliable data? How often should these observations take place? This report provides a detailed analysis and description of classroom observation policies for 27 state-funded programs from the 2012-13 school year. (Debra J. Ackerman, Educational Testing Service, February 2014)...

Preschool-to-Kindergarten Transition Patterns for African American Boys - Four patterns emerged following a study of African American boys transitioning from preschool to kindergarten. Just over half (51%) of the boys showed significant academic gains. A sizeable group (19%) were low preschool achievers whose scores fell further after transition. The smallest group (11%) were early preschool achievers who declined academically and behaviorally in kindergarten. Then there were consistent early achievers - 20% - who were high performing achievers in preschool and remained so in kindergarten. (Iheoma Iruka, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, University of North Carolina, January 2014)...

First Look at the Head Start CARES Demonstration Exec. Sum. - A first look at the Head Start CARES (Classroom-based Approaches and Resources for Emotion and Social skill promotion) finds that three programs meant to enhance the social-emotional skills of young children were carried out with fidelity and did lead to expected changes in teacher practice. (The three programs included The Incredible Years, Preschool PATHS and Tools of the Mind.) A later report will examine the programs' impacts. (Shira Kolnik Mattera, et al., OPRE and MDRC, December 2013)...

Teaching Math to Young Children - This practice guide offers educators specific, evidence-based recommendations that address the challenge of teaching early math to children ages 3 to 6. The guide provides practical, clear information on critical topics related to teaching early math and is based on the best available evidence as judged by the authors. (Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Nov 2013)...

The Progress of Education Reform: Math in the Early Years PDF - This issue of The Progress of Education Reform reveals five surprising findings about the strong relationship between early math instruction and later student achievement. Researchers have found that early knowledge of math not only predicts later success in math, but also predicts later reading achievement even better than do early reading skills. The paper concludes with implications and recommendations for state policy that will support the development of early math competencies and young children. (Doug Clements and Julie Sarama, University of Denver, October 2013)...

Early Childhood Education - See the Institute for Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) for recommendations on early childhood education. The WWC reviews the research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. Then, by focusing on the results from high-quality research, they try to answer the question “What works in education?” The goal is to provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions. (WWC, September 2013)...

Synthesis of IES Research on Early Intervention and Early Childhood Education - The purpose of this synthesis is to describe what the Institute for Education Sciences (IES) has learned from research grants on early intervention and childhood education. This synthesis is not intended to be the typical research review, which provides a broad overview of research in a field. Rather, it looks across the projects that IES funded to determine what has been learned and to suggest to the field avenues for further research to support improvements in early childhood education in our country.(IES)...

Championing Success: Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investments - America's business leaders are familiar with extensive evidence-based research on what works in early childhood and they are investing in it. By doing so, they also know they are investing in the future workforce and the U.S. economy. In this study, four types of business organizations were surveyed: state chambers of commerce, the largest city chambers, all state business roundtables, and a sampling of smaller, local chambers. Momentum appears to be growing and existing executive voices may become the framework for a bigger early childhood movement.(William Carpluk, Ready Nation and America's Promise Alliance, April 2013)...

Is Indiana Ready for State-Funded Pre-K Programs? Revisited - This Education Policy Brief revisits the evidence of the benefits and impact of prekindergarten programs as documented in the group's 2006 report, and provides updated information on policy and program developments around the United States. Key questions are examined concerning the design of high-quality prekindergarten programs; the state’s role in oversight and financial support; and costs of targeted, high-quality programs. (Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Feb 2013)...

Delivering on the Promise of Preschool: Investing in Social and Emotional Development and Early Math Skills - This report suggests that while the potential payoff on investing in preschool programs is large (high-quality model preschool programs have been found to return $4 to $10 in future benefits per dollar spent), not all preschool programs yield positive benefits, particularly when implemented at scale. The authors suggest enhancing social and emotional development and developing early math skills may be two keys to later academic success. (MDRC, Feb 2013)...

Investing In Our Children: A Plan to Expand Access to Preschool and Child Care - This issue brief presents a plan to expand educational opportunities and care for children ages 0-5 years old by investing significant federal dollars to make high-quality preschool universally accessible to all 3- and 4-year-old children and enable more lower-income families to afford child care for children ages 0-3 years old. (Center for American Progress, Feb. 2013)...

Starting Well: Benchmarking Early Education Across the World - This report ranks preschool environments in 45 countries using the Starting Well Index, which assesses the extent to which governments provide a good, inclusive early childhood education environment for children between the ages of 3 and 6. The U.S. ranked 24th of 45 in terms of overall score, 31st in availability, 16th in affordability, and 22nd in quality. (The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, July 2012) ...

Policy Brief: The Effects of Oklahoma's Pre-Kindergarten Program on 3rd Grade Test Scores - This analysis uses data from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to examine the effects of pre-K participation on 3rd grade test scores. Previous studies using these data found significant positive effects on kindergarten test scores across subject areas. The current analysis seeks to answer the question: do the short-term effects of a state-funded preschool program persist over time? Specifically, are differences in test scores between the children who participated in pre-K and a comparable group of children who did not still evident by the end of 3rd grade? (CROCUS, May 2012)...

Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children - This paper examines the reasons why poor children are less ready for school at age five than other children and evaluates three interventions for improving their social readiness including: preschool programs; smoking cessation programs for pregnant mothers, and; nurse home visiting programs. The authors find that, of the three interventions they considered, preschool programs offer the most promise for increasing children’s school readiness. (Center on Children and Families at Brookings, March 2012)...

Starting School at a Disadvantage: The School Readiness of Poor Children - This paper examines children’s readiness for school at age five, comparing poor children to children from more affluent families. The paper addresses two important questions: First, why are poor children less ready to learn than children from more affluent families? Second, does a better understanding of key explanatory factors suggest targets of opportunity, that is, points of possible intervention to improve the early academic skills and behaviors of low-income children? (Center on Children and Families at Brookings, March 2012)...

Building Blocks for a Strong Preschool to Early Elementary Education System - This testimony highlights what we know about differences in school readiness, the potential for high quality early learning experiences to prepare children for success in school, and the core building blocks of strong P–3 systems that address readiness gaps and support children’s development as they progress through the early elementary grades. (RAND Corporation, Feb 2012)...

Colorado Preschool Program: 2012 Legislative Report - This report presents longitudinal data on the Colorado Preschool Program (CPP), which suggests that CPP raises school achievement levels into middle school and reduces the need for children to repeat grades. The authors assert that CPP changes the developmental trajectory for children at risk, and improves school readiness. (Colorado Department of Education, January 2012)...

One Size Can’t Fit All – Developing Smart Policies to Evaluate Pre-K-3 Teacher Effectiveness PDF - This presentation was used during the webinar entitled "One Size Can’t Fit All – Developing Smart Policies to Evaluate Pre-K-3 Teacher Effectiveness." The November 8, 2011 webinar featured (1) Lisa Guernsey, Director of the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation; (2) Robert Pianta, Ph.D., Dean and Novartis Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education; and (3) Cheryl Ohlson, Ed.D., Senior Master Educator, Early Childhood Education for the District of Columbia Public Schools. The panel was moderated by Karen Schimke, Project Manager for Early Learning at the Education Commission of the States....

Children's School Readiness Skills: 1993 and 2007 - Table 235 in the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012. Scroll down the page to Table 235. (U.S. Census Bureau, September 2011)...

Preprimary School Enrollment--Summary: 1970 to 2009 - Table 237 in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012. This is the second table on the page. Scroll down the page to Table 237. (U.S. Census Bureau, September 2011)...

Invest in Early Childhood Education - This series of video vignettes shows how this well-trained and well-supported teacher manages her classroom and guides her preschoolers through problem-solving and literacy exercises....

Participation During the First Four Years of Tennessee’s Voluntary Prekindergarten Program - This study provides information on growth in Tennessee’s PreK program for states seeking to expand their PreK program capacity. It is modeled on a previous Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia report examining prekindergarten participation rates in West Virginia. (Institute of Education Sciences, September 2011)...

Assessing the Impact of Tennessee's Pre-Kindergarten Program: Final Report - This report, commissioned by the Tennessee Office of the Comptroller, investigates the short- and long-term effects of state funded Pre-Kindergarten participation on academic outcomes. The analysis, performed by Strategic Research Group, indicates that on standardized assessments in Kindergarten, Pre-K students—particularly those who experience economic disadvantage—perform better than students who did not participate in Pre-K. The analyses of long-term effects (Grades 3-5) did not find significant differences in academic performance between Pre-K participants and those who did not attend Pre-K. (Strategic Research Group, May 2011)...

Linking Home-Based Child Care and State-Funded Preschool - This report examines the implementation of the program that integrates home-based care providers into the state pre-k initiative. It reveals perceived benefits experienced by parents and providers as well as challenges that prevent greater collaboration and communication among the stakeholders. (Illinois Action for Children, April 2011)...

Latino Access to Preschool Stalls After Earlier Gains: Certain to Harden Achievement Gaps, Erode Workforce Quality - Newly available data show that preschool enrollment rates--already low for Latino youngsters--have stalled after climbing steadily since the 1980s. (New Journalism on Latino Children, April 2011)...

Does Participation in Pre-Primary Education Translate Into Better Learning Outcomes at School? - An analysis of PISA, an international standardized assessment of 15 year olds in 65 countries, revealed that, after accounting for differences in socioeconomic backgrounds, children who participated in early education programs scored an average of 33 points higher -- representing a gain of about one additional year of schooling -- than those who didn't enroll in such programs. The report found the strongest relationship between early education and better PISA performance in countries that offer early learning programs with small child-adult ratios, have higher per-child spending and enroll more children over a longer period of time. (OECD, February 2011)...

Perspectives on the Impact of Pre-K Expansion: Facts to Consider and Lessons from New York and Ohio - This report from the National Institute for Early Education Research studied the pre-k expansion efforts in New York and Ohio and found that this growth can support, rather than harm, child care programs under certain conditions. (National Institute for Early Education Research, January 2011)...

Putting Data Into Practice: Lessons From New York City - This document looks at New York City's efforts to create an evidence-based and collaborative teaching culture. Few other districts have embraced the use of data like the nation’s largest school system. As such, its experience offers valuable lessons for other schools and systems seeking to maximize the use of data to drive and inform classroom-level instruction. (Bill Tucker, Education Sector, October 2010)...

Transition to Preschool - This site offers a number of resources to help with the transition from early learning to preschool. (National Dissemination Center for Children With Disabilities 2010)...

A Second Year in Head Start: Characteristics of Children Who Entered the Program at Age Three - This study of Head Start participants found that among children who enrolled in the program in fall 2006 and stayed for two years, the second year was associated with additional gains in vocabulary and early reading, writing and math skills as well as in their social-emotional development. However, even with such progress, about 20 percent of these children were identified as having a learning disability by the end of their two-year Head Start experience and more than one-third were overweight or obese. (Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation/Administration for children and Families, December 2010)...

Engaged Families, Effective Pre-K: State Policies that Bolster Student Success - Family members are a child’s first and most important teachers. This Pre-K Now report identifies policies that can enhance family engagement in state pre-k and highlights examples from states that are leading the way. (Deborah Roderick Stark, Pew Center on the States, June 2010)...

Evaluating Lasting Effects of Full-day Prekindergarten Program on School Readiness, Academic Performance, and Special Education Services - Since 2007, the Montgomery County Public Schools system has used Title I dollars to extend half-day Head Start classes into full-day programs. An earlier internal evaluation showed that children who participated in full-day classes made significantly greater gains by the end of their pre-k year than those in half-day programs. In a follow-up study that examines these same children at the end of kindergarten, researchers found that generally, the advantages gained from full-day Head Start persisted for reading skills, though not for math. (Montgomery County Public Schools, April 2010)...

A Next Social Contract for the Primary Years of Education - This report argues for expanding access to high-quality pre-k and increasing alignment of pre-k-3rd standards and practices. It also recommends starting public education at age three on a voluntary basis, embedding early education into the K-12 finance structure and providing professional development for all teachers of pre-k through third grade that covers the unique needs of young students. (Lisa Guernsey, New America Foundation, March 2010)...

Facilities for Early Care & Education Programs - Even though well-designed early education facilities are critical to high-quality teaching and learning, they are often in short supply, especially in low-income communities. A brief from the Opportunity Finance Network discusses the financial and technical challenges that early education providers face in developing such facilities and the role that nonprofit "community development financial institutions" can play to overcome these barriers. (Amy Gillman, Dave Raynor and Marie Young, Opportunity Finance Network, 2008)...

Preschool Programs Can Boost School Readiness - In its more recent study of state-funded pre-k programs in Tulsa, Oklahoma, researchers from Georgetown University examined the impact of the Tulsa Public School (TPS) program relative to Head Start programs. The study found that participation in the TPS pre-k program was a more powerful predictor of cognitive gains than any other demographic factor. Moreover, participants in TPS programs showed greater gains in early reading and writing than those in Head Start programs. (Science Magazine, June 2008)...

Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control - This experimental study shows that a pre-k curriculum called Tools of the Mind was effective in helping children develop executive function skills, which have been found to have strong associations with school readiness and later academic achievement. The study also demonstrates that play, which is a central part of the curriculum, can be an effective strategy for cognitive development in the early years. (Adele Diamond, W. Steven Barnett, Jessica Thomas and Sarah Munro, November 2007) ...

The Effects of Universal Pre-K on Cognitive Development - This article, published in Developmental Psychology, concludes that Oklahoma’s universal pre-k program has contributed to enhancing school readiness among diverse groups of children. (Developmental Psychology, November 2005)...


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