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Early childhood education: A strategy for closing the achievement gap
Strategies for Children, July, 2007
Boston: Strategies for Children.

This brief discusses the achievement gap that exists between low-income, minority children and higher-income, non-minority children. It outlines strategies several states have undertaken in order to narrow this gap, such as high-quality pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs. Demographic data and test scores from 6 towns in Massachusetts are presented to illustrate achievement discrepancies, and current state initiatives are examined.

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Supporting parents through Head Start-child care center partnerships
Lim, Youngok, 2007
International Journal of Economic Development, 9(3), 205-238

Partnerships between child care centers and Head Start can meet the increased child care needs of low-income parents that resulted from the welfare reform in 1996 and improve children's school readiness by providing full-day, full-year, and high quality child care services. They can also provide comprehensive services for low-income parents such as job training classes and employment referral services that will enhance parents' productivity and ease job searches. Using data collected from parents in Ohio (N =1,605), we estimate the probability of a parent selecting a child care center partnered with Head Start based on several parent characteristics. We find that parents in job training programs, in school, searching for a job, and working long hours are more likely to choose partnership centers. Next, we examine what types of family comprehensive services are offered through Head Start and child care partnerships. We find that parents of children in partnership centers are more likely to receive information about employment enhancement services than parents of children in unpartnered centers. Moreover, the spillover effects of employment enhancement services suggest that the benefits of such services extend to a larger population. These Head Start -child care center partnership services help low-income families become self-sufficient, a goal that cannot be achieved through child care subsidies alone. Not only do low-income working parents benefit, but communities and the wider economy as well. (author abstract)

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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