Recognition & Response - General Resources on Early Childhood and Pre-K
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General Resources on Early Childhood and Pre-KIn recent years, much of the discussion about pre-kindergarten education has revolved around the benefits of such programs as an indicator of school readiness and achievement as well as the level of support needed from families, communities, and schools to ensure success. The reports below outline the current state of such discussions and offer recommendations and research findings on the effectiveness of particular programs and initiatives. The Current State of Pre-K
School Readiness
Education for All
Specific Programs and Initiatives

  • The Current State of Pre-K

Early Developments (FPG Child Development Institute, UNC)  This issue highlights findings from the National Center for Early Development and Learning Pre-Kindergarten Study.  FPG is devoted to research on public pre-K classrooms, teachers, and children, and offers key insights into the state of early childhood education as well as areas for further research.

Effects of Preschool on Educational Achievement (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) This paper addresses the origins of the achievement gap and the role prekindergarten can play in the public school system as it strives to provide universal, high-quality programs.  Click here for additional NIEER reports.

Overlooked Benefits of Prekindergarten (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) This report highlights recent research and outlines the often-overlooked benefits of prekindergarten that extend to numerous aspects of a person's life including: commitment to school, financial stability, better personal care, enhanced parenting skills, and more.

Early Childhood Internvetions: Benefits, Costs and Savings (The RAND Corporation)This study explores the potential consequences of not investing resources in early intervention programs,  the range and benefits of rigorously evaluated programs, and the features associated with succesful interventions, particularly in the lives of disadvantged children.

Promoting Children's Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) This policy report describes the importance of social and emotional development in children's earliest years, reviews the evidence that high-quality preschool can promote such development, and describes the characteristics of the most likely beneficial preschool programs.

Is More Better? The Effects of Full Day vs. Half-Day Preschool on Early Achievement (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) The results of this study indicate that extended-duration preschool with reasonable quality standards can improve vocabulary, math, and literacy skills for students who are far behind at entry to the program.

Making the Most of Kindergarten: Present Trends and Future Issues in the Provisions of Full-day Programs (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER)


  • School Readiness

A Closer Look at Early School Transition (Research Roundup, National Center for Learning Disabilities) This article offers a roundup of recent research efforts underway to help define the essential ingredients of school readiness and early childhood transition.

School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps (The Future of Children, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution) This issue explores how  to address gaps connected to family socioeconomic status, parenting, child health, and preschool disadvantage in order to ensure school readiness for all children. 

Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does "Readiness" Mean? (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) In order to determine what resources are needed, a realistic assessment must be made of current state and community resources, organizational capacity for collaboration, and the funding needed to fill in gaps.Readiness: School, Family & Community Connections (National Center for Family and Community Connections with Schools, Southeast Educational Development Laboratory) This 2004 Annual Synthesis makes recommendations on building teacher awareness, encouraging family involvement, and providing supports to ease the transition to kindergarten.

A Governor's Guide to School Readiness:Building the Foundation for Bright Futures (National Governors Association Center for Best Practices) This guide oulines a series of recommendations for states to develop school readiness programs that focus on helping parents and families prepare children for school success.

Ladders of Learning: Fighting Fade-Out By Advancing PK-3 Alignment (New America Foundation, Early Education Initiative) This document outlines the evidence supporting high-quality pre-kindergarten (PK) programs for success in kindergarten and full-day kindergarten (FDK) programs to help children who are behind.

The Benefits of Pre-K for Middle-Income Children (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) This policy report examines the importance of improving the school readiness of middle-income children and the role high-quality prekindergarten can play in ensuring that these children enter kindergarten with the cognitive, social, and emotional skills they need to succeed.

Delaying Kindergarten: Effects on Test Scores and Childcare Costs (The RAND Corporation) These findings argue that policymakers may need to view entrance age policies as a package - one that considers both cognitive and non-cognitive consequences.



  • Education for All

Reaching All Children? Understanding Early Care and Education Participation Among Immigrant Families (The Center for Law and Social Policy, CLASP) This document investigates why immigrant children are less likely to participate in early education programs and suggests ways to increase their enrollment.

Building a Foundation for Success By Getting Every Child Ready for School (Southern Regional Education Board, SREB) This report outlines SREB's Challenge to Lead Goals for Education program.

The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children (Invest in Kids Working Group, Committee for Economic Development) This report highlights an accumulating body of evidence that suggests early childhood interventions are much more effective than remedies aimed at compensating for neglect later in life and shows how such initiatives are likely to promote a more productive society and improved workforce.

Closing Achievement Gaps (The Future of Children, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution) This policy brief recommends the coordination of preschool funding streams, increased focus on teacher training, and the creation go reading, math and social/emotional curriculum activities to narrow current disparities in educational achievement.

  • Specific Programs and Initiatives

Scholastic Early Childhood Program (SECP) (U.S. Department of Education, Early Childhood Educator Professional Development Program) The SECP is a comprehensive, yearlong curriculum for pre-kindergarten that provides print and non-print experiences to support literary success.

The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40 (High/Scope Educational Research Foundation) The High/Scope Perry Preschool study is a scientific experiment that has identified both the short- and long-term effects of a high-quality preschool education program for children living in poverty.

Head Start's Lasting Benefits (National Institute for Early Education Research, NIEER) This article critically
reviews the research on Head Start and other early education programs for at-risk children and presents
recommendations for future studies of Head Start.

Home Visitation in 2005: Outcomes for Children and Parents (Committee for Economic Development, Invest in Kids Working Group) This paper explores research indications that home visitation produces benefits for parents and children.

Selected Longitudinal Studies that Inform PK-3 (The Foundation for Child Development)This publication summarizes the structure of seven pre-K - 3 programs and the effect these programs have on children.

Financing Quality Rating Systems: Lessons Learned (Alliance for Early Childhood Finance, Prepared for United Way of America Success By Six) This report addresses the need for child care and early education quality rating systems (QRS), along with specific examples.

Next: State and Federal Policies on Pre-K



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