Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

The overall and differential effects of a targeted prekindergarten program: Evidence from Connecticut


With a large volume of literature pointing to the beneficial impact of pre-kindergarten, researchers, educators, and policymakers are now raising questions about what works for whom, under what conditions, as well as conducting cost-benefit analyses of such endeavors. However, few studies exist on the differential and contextual effects of these programs, creating opportunities for new research in this area. This paper addresses this issue by reporting on the short-term effects of a state-funded pre-kindergarten program, including the potential differential effects among students of color and students from lower income families. Using data from the Connecticut School Readiness Program (CSRP), we use a regression discontinuity design to examine the causal impact of attending the CSRP on average, and by race and income across four different outcomes (reading, oral language, vocabulary, and mathematics). We find that, in the aggregate, attending the CSRP provided the strongest and most consistent outcomes in reading and mathematics. However, heterogeneity analyses indicate variation in impact. The magnitude and significance of reading and mathematics effects were positive but smaller for Black children. Null effects were detected for Latinx students. There was suggestive evidence that mathematics impacts may be smaller for students from low-income families, while reading impacts are uniformly positive irrespective of family income. Possible explanations for differential impact findings are explored. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

Related resources include summaries, versions, measures (instruments), or other resources in which the current document plays a part. Research products funded by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation are related to their project records.

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection.

Can positive school climate ameliorate racial-ethnic disparities in pre-kindergarten quality? Evidence from a large urban school district

Reports & Papers

The long-term effect of North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program is larger in school districts with lower rates of growth in academic achievement

Reports & Papers

Strengthening family engagement: Accreditation of programs for young children: Cross-cutting theme in program standards

Reports & Papers

Toddlers in Early Head Start: A portrait of 3-year-olds, their families, and the programs serving them: Volume 1: Age 3 report

Reports & Papers
Release: 'v1.28.0' | Built: 2023-04-17 15:59:38 EDT