Recent Highlights from Our Collection

Below are highlights from our most recent acquisitions. Research Connections scans its newest acquisitions, focusing on those from key organizations and journals, to identify resources to feature here.

Did the quality of care by family, friend, and neighbor child care providers improve after the Arizona Kith and Kin Project?

The Arizona Kith and Kin Project evaluation brief #1: Improving quality in family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) child care settings [Executive summary]
Shivers, Eva Marie, 02/01/2016
Phoenix, AZ: Indigo Cultural Center, Institute for Child Development Research and Social Change. Retrieved from

The overall goal for the study described in this brief was to discover whether family, friend, and neighbor child care providers enhanced the quality of care they provided young children after completing a 14-week training and support group intervention known as the Arizona Kith and Kin Project. (author abstract)

Check out in the Research Connections collection The Arizona Kith and Kin Project evaluation brief #2: Latina family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) provider characteristics and features of child care they provide and the The Arizona Kith and Kin Project evaluation brief #3: Professional development with family, friend, and neighbor providers: Implications for dual language learners for additional resources.

How does parenting education in early childhood education programs impact children's cognitive and pre-academic skills?

The added impact of parenting education in early childhood education programs: A meta-analysis
Grindal, Todd, 11/01/2016

Many early childhood education (ECE) programs seek to enhance parents' capacities to support their children's development. Using a meta-analytic database of 46 studies of ECE programs that served children age three to five-years-old, we examine the benefits to children's cognitive and pre-academic skills of adding parenting education to ECE programs for children and consider the differential impacts of: 1) parenting education programs of any type; 2) parenting education programs that provided parents with modeling of or opportunities to practice stimulating behaviors and 3) parenting education programs that were delivered through intensive home visiting. The results of the study call into question some general longstanding assertions regarding the benefits of including parenting education in early childhood programs. We find no differences in program impacts between ECE programs that did and did not provide some form of parenting education. We find some suggestive evidence that among ECE programs that provided parenting education, those that provided parents with opportunities to practice parenting skills were associated with greater short-term impacts on children's pre-academic skills. Among ECE programs that provided parenting education, those that did so through one or more home visits a month yielded effect sizes for cognitive outcomes that were significantly larger than programs that provided lower dosages of home visits. (author abstract)

What are the kindergarten readiness outcomes of the first cohort of children in Chicago Child-Parent Center slots funded through a Social Impact Bond?

Evaluation of kindergarten readiness in five child-parent centers: Report for 2014-15
Gaylor, Erika, 04/01/2016
Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Retrieved from

The Social Impact Bond (SIB) (also referred to as Pay for Success) is a funding mechanism where private businesses support programs that are expected to have a high return on investment. Beginning in 2014-15, the IFF Pay for Success project funded additional CPC preschool slots at six CPS schools. In 2015-16, two additional sites (identified by CPS and approved by the city of Chicago) were added to the PFS project. SRI International (SRI) has been hired to conduct the evaluation of the child outcomes for this project referred to as the "SIB-CPC project". The project anticipates serving four cohorts of preschool children across the eight sites over four school years-- Cohort 1: 2014-15, Cohort 2: 2015-16, Cohort 3: 2016-17, and Cohort 4: 2017-18. This first SRI project report describes the kindergarten readiness outcomes of the first cohort of children in the SIB-CPC project. First, we briefly describe the CPC program and its expansion efforts using SIB funding, including evidence about the impacts of the CPC program model on children's school readiness and school achievement. Second, we describe how the SIB-CPC program is being evaluated. Third, we present the extent to which the SIB-CPC program goals have been achieved for the kindergarten readiness outcomes for Cohort 1. (author abstract)

How do both mothers' and fathers' home learning environment practices predict the children's early learning outcomes?

Fathers' and mothers' home learning environments and children's early academic outcomes
Foster, Tricia D., 11/01/2016

The home learning environment (HLE) that children experience early on is highly predictive of their later academic competencies; however, the bulk of this work is operationalized from mothers' perspectives. This study investigates the HLE provided by both mothers and fathers to their preschoolers (n = 767), with consideration for how parents' practices relate to one another as well as how these practices predict children's early academic outcomes. Using an SEM framework, results indicate that while, overall, mothers provide HLE activities more frequently than fathers do, both mothers ([beta] = .18, p<.05) and fathers ([beta] = .22, p<.05) make unique contributions to their preschooler's early academic skills, but only for families where mother has less than a bachelor's degree. For families where mother has a bachelor's degree or higher, the effect of father's HLE practices is not a significant predictor of children's academics when considering mother's HLE. For all families, fathers are providing a variety of HLE activities to their young children; and, although these may occur less frequently than mothers' practices, they are particularly important for the academic development of children whose mothers have less than a bachelor's degree. Practical implications are discussed. (author abstract)

Are there different trajectories in the development of behavioral self-regulation in early childhood?

The development of self-regulation across early childhood
Montroy, Janelle J., 11/01/2016

The development of early childhood self-regulation is often considered an early life marker for later life successes. Yet little longitudinal research has evaluated whether there are different trajectories of self-regulation development across children. This study investigates the development of behavioral self-regulation between the ages of 3 and 7 years, with a direct focus on possible heterogeneity in the developmental trajectories, and a set of potential indicators that distinguish unique behavioral self-regulation trajectories. Across 3 diverse samples, 1,386 children were assessed on behavioral self-regulation from preschool through first grade. Results indicated that majority of children develop self-regulation rapidly during early childhood, and that children follow 3 distinct developmental patterns of growth. These 3 trajectories were distinguishable based on timing of rapid gains, as well as child gender, early language skills, and maternal education levels. Findings highlight early developmental differences in how self-regulation unfolds, with implications for offering individualized support across children. (author abstract)

What are the findings from the evaluation of the Delaware Stars for Early Success quality rating and improvement system?

Evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success: Final report
Karoly, Lynn A., 01/01/2016
(RR-1426-DOEL). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from

In June 2013, the Delaware Office of Early Learning contracted with the RAND Corporation to conduct an independent evaluation of Delaware Stars for Early Success, the state's quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) for early learning and care programs. The purpose of the RAND evaluation was to support Delaware in its efforts to design and implement an effective, robust system for measuring and reporting on the quality of early learning and care programs in home and center settings. The evaluation further aimed to inform efforts to improve the quality of programs in ways that are beneficial for participating children and their families. The project entailed a series of interrelated research tasks designed to provide objective and rigorous empirical evidence of the extent to which rating tiers reflect relevant differences in the quality of home- and center-based programs and whether the system is operating effectively in terms of technical assistance (TA), financial support, and other features. In support of the overall evaluation goals, this final report summarizes the findings from all components of the evaluation. Our primary focus is on addressing two sets of questions central to the evaluation: Do early care and education (ECE) programs with higher ratings in the QRIS deliver higher-quality care and early learning than those with lower ratings? What is the relationship between program characteristics and quality in Delaware Stars?; Do children in programs with higher ratings in the QRIS have better learning and developmental outcomes than children in programs with lower ratings? What dimensions of Delaware Stars program ratings are most vital to child learning and developmental outcomes? These questions are examined using data collected in 2014-2015 on program quality from a sample of Delaware ECE providers, along with measures of learning for children enrolled in the sampled programs. We also report on results from a survey of the directors of the sampled providers. Other components of the evaluation are also addressed in this report, including findings regarding quality improvement supports, financial incentives, and other aspects of system performance, some of which were analyzed in more detail in two earlier reports. (author abstract)

Did attendance in public prekindergarten in Virginia predict on time promotion to and literacy achievement in middle school?

Predicting on-time promotion to and literacy achievement in eighth grade in relation to public prekindergarten in Virginia
Almarode, John, 05/01/2015
Richmond, VA: Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. Retrieved from

This study is the first to examine middle school outcomes for students who attended public prekindergarten in Virginia. Sixty-seven percent of students who attended Virginia public kindergarten in 2005-2006 could be followed into eighth grade in 2013-2014 (N = 77,451). This cohort was examined because it is the first to have VDOE-collected data extending across prekindergarten and into eighth grade. The study focused on on-time promotion and literacy achievement. On-time promotion predicts higher high school graduation rates, and grade retention is costly to both students and funders. Literacy represents a primary focus for prekindergarten. Statistical propensity score weighting techniques were used to estimate equivalent comparison groups between students who had attended a Virginia prekindergarten program and students whose prekindergarten experience was unknown. A host of student and school characteristics known to be related to academic achievement were accounted for in analyses in order to highlight associations just with prekindergarten enrollment. (author abstract)

Were the changes in 2016 state child care assistance policies effective in supporting families?

Red light green light: State child care assistance policies 2016
Schulman, Karen, 01/01/2016
Washington, DC: National Women's Law Center. Retrieved from

This report examines states' policies in five key areas--income eligibility limits to qualify for child care assistance, waiting lists for child care assistance, copayments required of parents receiving child care assistance, reimbursement rates for child care providers serving families receiving child care assistance, and eligibility for child care assistance for parents searching for a job. These policies are fundamental to determining families' ability to obtain child care assistance and the extent of help that assistance provides, although other policies, too, have an impact on the effectiveness of state child care assistance programs in helping families. (author abstract)

To see a complete list of new research, please view Archived New Research.