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Related Resource of Resource 300

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The impact of child care subsidy use on child care quality
Ryan, Rebecca M.; Johnson, Anna D.; Rigby, Elizabeth; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

In 2008, the federal government allotted $7 billion in child care subsidies to low-income families through the state-administered Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF),now the government's largest child care program (US DHHS, 2008). Although subsidies reduce costs for families and facilitate parental employment, it is unclear how they impact the quality of care families purchase. This study investigates the impact of government subsidization on parents' selection of child care quality using multivariate regression and propensity score matching approaches to account for differential selection into subsidy receipt and care arrangements. Data were drawn from the Child Care Supplement to the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (CCS-FFCWS), conducted in 2002 and 2003 in 14 of the 20 FFCWS cities when focal children were 3 years old (N= 456). Our results indicate that families who used subsidies chose higher quality care than comparable mothers who did not use subsidies, but only because subsidy recipients were more likely to use center-based care. Subgroup analyses revealed that families using subsidies purchased higher-quality home-based care but lower-quality center-based care than comparable non-recipients. Findings suggest that child care subsidies may serve as more than a work support for low-income families by enhancing the quality of nonmaternal care children experience but that this effect is largely attributable to recipients' using formal child care arrangements (versus kith and kin care) more often than non-recipients. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2011

Family involvement and educator outreach in Head Start: Nature, extent, and contributions to early literacy skills
Hindman, Annemarie H.; Morrison, Frederick J.;

Measures of both educator outreach to families and family involvement in both Head Start and their children's early education, and a study of these measures' relationships to reading, cognitive, and social outcomes of children, based on data from 3,100 children and families enrolled in the Head Start, 286 of their classroom teachers, and 222 center directors

Reports & Papers

March, 2011

An evaluation of the Individualized Learning Intervention: A mentoring program for early childhood teachers
Gallagher, Peggy Ahrenhold; Abbott-Shim, Martha; VandeWiele, Laura;

An evaluation and study of the effect of the Individualized Learning Intervention (ILI) training for adult mentors on the cognitive, math, and pre-reading skills of 36 children within an urban Head Start program in the South

Reports & Papers

2011

Dosage effects on school readiness: Evidence from a randomized classroom-based intervention
Zhai, Fuhua; Raver, C. Cybele; Jones, Stephanie M.; Li-Grining, Christine P.; Pressler, Emily; Gao, Qin;

A study of dosage effects of a targeted intervention on low-income child behavior problems, emotional and behavioral self-regulation skills, and cognitive development, as well as a study of variation of dosage effects across school readiness measures and the individual components of the Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP), based on data from 602 children and 90 teachers in 35 Head Start-funded classrooms

Reports & Papers

December 2010

The effects of an intensive shared book-reading intervention for preschool children at risk for vocabulary delay
Pollard-Durodola, Sharolyn D.; Gonzalez, Jorge E.; Simmons, Deborah C.; Kwok, Oi-man; Taylor, Aaron B.; Davis, Matthew J.; Min, Jung Kim; Simmons, Leslie

A study of effects of an intensive shared book-reading intervention on the vocabulary development of preschool children at risk for vocabulary delay, based on data from 125 children stratified by classroom and randomly assigned to either the Words of Oral Reading and Language Development (WORLD) intervention or typical practice

Reports & Papers

Winter 2011

Preschool teachers' sense of community, instructional quality, and children's language and literacy gains
Guo, Ying; Kaderavek, Joan N.; Piasta, Shayne B.; Justice, Laura M.; McGinty, Anita;

A study of the relationship between teacher sense of community and both the language and print concepts gains of students, and an examination of the moderating influence of instructional quality, based on data collected from the classrooms of 75 public prekindergarten or Head Start teachers in two states

Reports & Papers

March, 2011

Early Head Start children in grade 5: Long-term followup of the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project study sample: Final report
Vogel, Cheri; Xue, Yange; Moiduddin, Emily M.; Kisker, Ellen Eliason; Carlson, Barbara Lepidus;

A study of the impact of Early Head Start participation and of the influence of children's preschool and later school experiences on parenting, family well-being, and children's academic and socioemotional outcomes in grade 5, based on a longitudinal follow-up of participants in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

Reports & Papers

December, 2010

Profiles of emergent literacy skills among preschool children who are at risk for academic difficulties
Cabell, Sonia Q.; Justice, Laura M.; Konold, Timothy R.; McGinty, Anita;

A first study to identify reliable profiles of emergent literacy among preschoolers and a second study of the predictive validity of the profiles on mid-year teacher ratings of emergent literacy and end-of-kindergarten literacy assessments, based on data from 492 at risk children in 93 publically-funded preschool programs in a Midwest state

Reports & Papers

Q1 2011

Predicting ELL students' beginning first grade English oral reading fluency from initial kindergarten vocabulary, letter naming, and phonological awareness skills
Yesil-Dagli, Ummuhan

A study of the relationships between both English letter naming fluency and initial sound fluency at kindergarten entry and both first grade English vocabulary skills and oral reading fluency, based on data from 2,481 English language learners in 291 Florida Reading First schools from the 2004-2005 school year

Reports & Papers

Q1 2011

Bright Futures Early Reading First: Year three summary evaluation report
Caverly, Sarah L.; Vaden-Kiernan, Michael; Fong, Carlton;

An evaluation of the Bright Futures Early Reading First project, which provides professional support to teachers implementing early literacy curricula in Madison Parish, Louisiana, that examined children's literacy outcomes, professional development and classroom quality, and parent involvement

Reports & Papers

30 September, 2010

CSRP's impact on low-income preschoolers' preacademic skills: Self-regulation as a mediating mechanism
Raver, C. Cybele; Jones, Stephanie M.; Li-Grining, Christine P.; Zhai, Fuhua; Bub, Kristen L.; Pressler, Emily;

A study of the effects of a targeted intervention on low-income preschoolers' letter-naming, early math, and vocabulary gains, and an investigation of self-regulation as a mediator, based on data frm 602 Chicago School Readiness Project (CSRP) participants in 35 Head Start-funded classrooms

Reports & Papers

January/February 2011

Head Start and urban children's school readiness: A birth cohort study in 18 cities
Zhai, Fuhua; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Waldfogel, Jane

A longitudinal investigation of the links between Head Start participation and the cognitive and social competencies associated with children's school readiness, based on a subsample of 2,803 children from eighteen cities who participated in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

Reports & Papers

January 2011

Neighborhood community influences on preschool children's development and school readiness
Hanson, Marci; Miller, Angela D.; Diamond, Karen E.; Odom, Samuel L.; Lieber, Joan; Butera, Gretchen; Horn, Eva M.; Palmer, Susan B.; Fleming, Kandace;

An examination of the influence of socioeconomic disadvantage and language isolation on children's social skills and academic outcomes, based on a sample of 1,006 four-year-old children, including 195 English language learners (ELLs) and 164 children with disabilities

Reports & Papers

January-March 2011

The relation between teacher input and lexical growth of preschoolers
Bowers, Edmond P.; Vasilyeva, Marina

An examination of the growth in the vocabulary skills of monolingual children and English language learners (ELL) in the same classroom, based on assessments of 104 children from 10 preschool classrooms in the greater Boston Area

Reports & Papers

January 2011

Children's individual experiences in early care and education: Relations with overall classroom quality and children's school readiness
Jeon, Hyun-Joo; Langill, Carolyn; Peterson, Carla A.; Luze, Gayle J.; Carta, Judith J.; Atwater, Jane

An exploration of the relationship between children's individual experiences in preschool, classroom quality, and children's kindergarten school readiness, based on data for 83 children from a rural Early Head Start site and 55 children from an urban Early Head Start site in a Midwestern state

Reports & Papers

November 2010

Minnesota Family Literacy and School Readiness study: Results through year 2
Gozali-Lee, Edith; Mueller, Daniel P.;

Findings from a two-year study that examined the relationship of Minnesota family literacy program dosage to children's school readiness and parents' literacy and involvement in their children's education

Reports & Papers

March 2010

Project Early Kindergarten evaluation: Results through 2009-10 of a Saint Paul Public Schools initiative
Maxfield, Jennifer; Gozali-Lee, Edith; Mueller, Daniel P.;

A longitudinal evaluation of Project Early Kindergarten (PEK), a prekindergarten program offered in public schools and community-based child care settings in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to improve the school readiness of at risk children, that examined the relationship of program participation to children's academic and social skills in kindergarten through third grade

Reports & Papers

November 2010

Mediators of preschoolers' early mathematics concepts
Austin, Ann M. Berghout; Blevins-Knabe, Belinda; Ota, Carrie L.; Rowe, Treavor; Lindauer, Shelley L. Knudsen

An investigation of the possible mediating roles of both psychosocial development and letter awareness in the relationship between receptive language and math skills, in samples of 61 children in family child care and 48 children in center-based care

Reports & Papers

2011

Evaluation of the First 5 LA Family Literacy Initiative: Year 5/6 report
Quick, Heather; Manship, Karen; Parrish, Deborah (Montgomery); Rojas, Daniela; Hauser, Alison; Howes, Carollee; Jung, Youngok;

Findings from the fifth and sixth years of the implementation and impact evaluation of the First 5 LA Family Literacy Initiative, a comprehensive program to promote literacy among low-income families in Los Angeles County, that examined program characteristics and quality and child and parent outcomes

Reports & Papers

May 22, 2009

Evaluation of the First 5 LA Family Literacy Initiative: Final phase I report
Quick, Heather; Parrish, Deborah (Montgomery); Manship, Karen; Gaertner, Freya; Waugh, Regina; Gonzalez, Raquel; Rojas, Daniela; Zuniga, Stephen; Jung, Youngok; Howes, Carollee;

Findings from the third and fourth years of the implementation and impact evaluation of the First 5 LA Family Literacy Initiative, a comprehensive program to promote literacy among low-income families in Los Angeles County, that examined program characteristics and quality and child and parent outcomes

Reports & Papers

07 March, 2007

Assembly Bill 627: Nevada early childhood education (ECE) program: FY 2007-08 final evaluation report
Leitner, David;

An evaluation of the Nevada publicly-funded early childhood education program for preschool-age children that examined the developmental progress and parental involvement of program participants over the program year and compared first and third grade outcomes of participants and nonparticipants

Reports & Papers

January, 2009

The New Mexico PreK evaluation: Impacts from the fourth year (2008-2009) of New Mexico's state-funded prek program
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Friedman, Allison H.;

A study of the impact of participation in New Mexico PreK, a state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children offered through a variety of public and community-based providers, on children's receptive vocabulary, early literacy, and early math skills at kindergarten entry, based on comparisons of assessments of children who had completed a year of prekindergarten with nonparticipants who had missed the enrollment age cut-off and were about to start prekindergarten

Reports & Papers

November, 2010

Efficacy of supplemental phonics-based instruction for low-skilled kindergarteners in the context of language minority status and classroom phonics instruction
Vadasy, Patricia F.; Sanders, Elizabeth A.;

A study of the effects of supplemental code-oriented tutoring on the literacy scores of below-average students, and an examination of variations in the effects by language minority status, classroom instruction time, and pretest measures of vocabulary, based on data from randomly assigned samples of 81 kindergarteners receiving only classroom instruction and 67 students receiving supplemental tutoring at 10 urban public schools

Reports & Papers

November 2010

Neurocognitive perspectives in language outcomes of Early Head Start: Language and cognitive stimulation and maternal depression
Chapin, Laurie A.; Altenhofen, Shannon;

A study of the relationships between child vocabulary and socioeconomic status, Early Head Start participation, and caregiver variables, based on data collected from 2,948 children and their primary caregivers at 17 locations across the country from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Study

Reports & Papers

September/October 2010

What counts in the development of young children's number knowledge?
Levine, Susan Cohen; Suriyakham, Linda Whealton; Rowe, Meredith L.; Huttenlocher, Janellen; Gunderson, Elizabeth A.;

A study of the relationship between the number talk infants and toddlers hear from their primary caregiver in the home environment and their understanding of the numeric meanings of number words at preschool age, based on video transcripts of home observations of 44 parent-infant dyads as well as tests administered to parents and children

Reports & Papers

September 2010

Children's classroom engagement and school readiness gains in prekindergarten
Chien, Nina C.; Howes, Carollee; Burchinal, Margaret; Pianta, Robert C.; Ritchie, Sharon; Bryant, Donna M.; Clifford, Richard M.; Early, Diane Marie; Barbarin, Oscar;

A study of the relationship between child engagement in public prekindergarten classrooms and school readiness gains, based on data from 2,751 children from the Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten and the State-Wide Early Education Programs Study (SWEEP)

Reports & Papers

September/October 2010

Disrupting the impact of socio-contextual disadvantage on school readiness skill attainment among preschool children: The role of Head Start attendance
Callahan, Kristin Leigh;

A study of the relationships between preschooler school readiness skills and duration of Head Start attendance, income-to-needs ratio, financial strain, maternal health problems, and levels of neighborhood danger, as well as a study of duration of Head Start attendance as a moderator of the association between socio-contextual risk exposure and the attainment of school readiness skills by preschoolers, based on questionnaire responses of 167 mothers, their Head Start eligible children, and one 2-year-old from 12 centers in post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, as well as crime reports and children's readiness scores

Reports & Papers

May 2010

Universal child care, maternal labor supply, and family well-being
Baker, Michael; Gruber, Jonathan; Milligan, Kevin;

A study of the relationships between the implementation of The Quebec Family Policy, a universal child care policy initiative, and type, quality, and quantity of child care utilized by families, labor force participation of parents, and child, parent behavior, and health outcomes, based a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth in Canada

Reports & Papers

August 2008

Early Reading First graduates go to kindergarten: Are achievement gains enduring?
Vukelich, Carol; Buell, Martha J.; Han, Myae;

A comparison of early literacy and social skills achievement gains of 97 Early Reading First Head Start graduates and 97 comparison children in the spring of their kindergarten year from the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2003 cohort

Reports & Papers

2010

Case study of a successful rural Early Reading First implementation
McKenna, Michael C.; Brown, Carol; Eady, Glenda T.; Lee, Marilyn E.;

A case study of the implementation of an Early Reading Frist program in rural Twiggs County

Reports & Papers

2010

Assessing preschool number sense: Skills demonstrated by children prior to school entry
Howell, Sally; Kemp, Coral

A study of the relationships between mathematics difficulties, receptive vocabulary, and mathematical skills, a second study of essential components of early number sense, and a third study of the relationship between receptive vocabulary and mathematics skills and both type of early childhood setting and gender for 176 children at preschools and child care centers in a socially inclusive urban area of Sydney, Australia

Reports & Papers

July 2010

Parent-child reading in English as a second language: Effects on language and literacy development of Chinese kindergarteners
Chow, Bonnie Wing-Yin; McBride-Chang, Catherine; Cheung, Him;

A study of the effects of dialogic parent-child reading in English on child's vocabulary, word reading and phonological awareness for 51 Hong Kong children learning English as a second language, between the ages of 57- through 71-months, assigned to dialogic reading or control conditions

Reports & Papers

August 2010

Parent-school relationships and children's academic and social outcomes in public school pre-kindergarten
Powell, Douglas R.; Son, Seung-Hee; File, Nancy; San Juan, Robert R.;

A study of the associations between parent-school relationships and child early reading, mathematics, language, social skills, and problem behavior outcomes based on data from 140 preschool children and their parents or primary caregivers in 13 prekindergarten classrooms in 12 elementary schools in a large urban school district in the Midwest

Reports & Papers

August, 2010

Associations among family environment, sustained attention, and school readiness for low-income children
Razza, Rachel A.; Martin, Anne; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne;

A study of sustained attention as a mediator of the relationship between family environment and school readiness, based on data from 1,046 low income children, with family environment data collected at 3-years-old and both attention and school readiness data collected at 5-years of age

Reports & Papers

November, 2010

Preschoolers at risk of developing concurrent academic and behavioral difficulties
Zibulsky, Jamie

A longitudinal study of the relationships between pre-reading, reading, and social skills from the fall of preschool through spring kindergarten in 1,041 children at 14 sites nationwide as part of the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research project

Reports & Papers

Spring 2009

Peer interactions of preschool children with and without hearing loss
DeLuzio, Joanne M.;

A comparison of initiations and responses during group play among children with severe to profound hearing loss (SPHL) and children with typical hearing at integrated preschool programs as well as a study of the relationship between peer interactions and language, speech, and socioemotional development, based on data collected on 12 SPHL and 12 typical children matched on intelligence

Reports & Papers

2009

Multiyear student/teacher relationships and language development in children of Hawaiian descent at Kamehameha Schools Community Based Early Childhood Education program
Collins, Susan

A comparison of both the receptive language and language development of students in an early education classroom who stayed with the same teacher for 2 years and students with two different teachers for each of the 2 years and a study of the influence of years of teacher education and experience, based on data from a convenience sample of 104 3-year-olds at two sites

Reports & Papers

February 2010

Preschool to kindergarten: The role of preschool social competence in the transition to kindergarten
Robinson, Chanele D.

A study of the relationship between parents' reports of children's perceptions of kindergarten and teachers' ratings of kindergarteners' social and academic difficulties and competencies during the transition to kindergarten and a second study of the relationship between preschool social competence and parents' and teachers' reports of children's social adjustment durning kindergarten transition based on data from 211 low-income preschool children in 1 preschool and 7 Head Start centers

Reports & Papers

August, 2009

A comparison of teacher-rated classroom conduct, social skills, and teacher-child relationship quality between preschool English learners and preschool English speakers
Luchtel, Molly; Hughes, Kere; Luze, Gayle J.; Bruna, Katherine Richardson; Peterson, Carla A.

A study of the relationships between home languages, preschool classroom languages, and child gender and classroom conduct, social skills, teacher-child relationship quality, global classroom quality, and children's receptive language skills from a secondary analysis of data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project with 1034 caregivers, 743 teachers, and 1034 children

Reports & Papers

April, 2010

Maternal elaborative reminiscing increases low-income children's narrative skills relative to dialogic reading
Reese, Elaine; Leyva, Diana; Sparks, Alison; Grolnick, Wendy S.;

A study of the effect of dialogic reading or elaborative reminiscing on oral language and emergent literacy for 33 low-income mothers of 4-year-old children attending Head Start

Reports & Papers

May 2010

The impact of maternal mental health on parenting quality and child outcomes in Early Head Start
Kelley, Catherine E.

A study of the relationship between maternal depression, parenting quality and a variety of child development outcomes and an examination of the relationship between participation in Early Head Start and maternal depression, parenting, and a variety of child development outcomes from a secondary analysis of data from Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Study

Reports & Papers

April 15, 2010

Relation of preschool teachers' linguistic responsiveness to growth in children's language and literacy outcomes
Cockburn, Mary K.

A linguistic study of the relationships between preschool teachers’ language responses and children’s growth in vocabulary, print concepts, and letter knowledge scores from transcripts of recordings during book reading and non-book reading contexts from 270 students in Head Start centers

Reports & Papers

August 2009

Effects of an early literacy professional development intervention on Head Start teachers and children
Powell, Douglas R.; Diamond, Karen E.; Burchinal, Margaret; Koehler, Matthew J.;

A study of the effects of participation in one semester of Classroom Links to Early Literacy on teacher's teaching practices, classroom environment, early literacy classroom supports, and children's early literacy development and an examination of pre- and post-intervention classsroom and child outcomes for teachers assigned to remote or on-site coaching conditions for 88 Head Start teachers of 759 children, across 5 Head Start programs in a midwest state

Reports & Papers

May 2010

Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production
Bernal, Raquel; Keane, Michael;

A study of the relationship between children's cognitive development through age 6 and maternal vs. non-maternal care providers' time inputs from a sample of single mothers from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Reports & Papers

May 2010

Examining different forms of implementation and in early childhood curriculum research
Odom, Samuel L.; Fleming, Kandace; Diamond, Karen E.; Lieber, Joan; Hanson, Marci; Butera, Gretchen; Horn, Eva M.; Palmer, Susan B.; Marquis, Janet G.;

A study of the relationships between structural, process, and combined measures of implementation of the Children's School Success curriculum across both sites and time, and their associations to child outcomes, in 51 preschool classes at nationally-dispersed sites over the course of one school year

Reports & Papers

Q3 2010

Home-school differences in beliefs, support, and control during public pre-kindergarten and their link to children's kindergarten readiness
Barbarin, Oscar; Downer, Jason T.; Head, Darlene; Odom, Erica

A study of readiness skills and ethnicity and their relationship to home-school match or mismatch in childrearing beliefs and socialization practices for 310 children transitioning from publicly sponsored prekindergarten to kindergarten

Reports & Papers

Q3 2010

Do effects of early child care extend to age 15 years?: Results from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development
Vandell, Deborah Lowe; Belsky, Jay; Burchinal, Margaret; Steinberg, Laurence D.; Vandergrift, Nathan; NICHD Early Child Care Research Network

An examination of the relationships between externalizing behavior, impulsivity, risk taking, and academic achievement at age 15 and quality of care, nonrelative child care type, care hours, and center care participation at 4 ½ years, as well as achievement and externalizing behavior at 4 ½ years and grades 1, 3, and 5, from a secondary analysis of data on 1,364 families

Reports & Papers

May/June 2010

Exposure to media and theory-of-mind development in preschoolers
Mar, Raymond A.; Tackett, Jennifer L.; Moore, Chris;

An examination of the relationship between children's understanding of other’s mental states and exposure to children’s literature, television, and film, controlling for age, gender, vocabulary, and parental income for 555 4- through 6-year-olds and their parents

Reports & Papers

January-March, 2010

Relations among preschool teachers' self-efficacy, classroom quality, and children's language and literacy gains
Guo, Ying; Piasta, Shayne B.; Justice, Laura M.; Kaderavek, Joan N.;

An examination of the relations among preschool teachers' self-efficacy, classroom quality, instructional and emotional support, and children's gains in print awareness and vocabulary knowledge over an academic year from 328 children in 67 Head Start, state preschool, and independent preschool classrooms

Reports & Papers

May 2010

Responsiveness of students with language difficulties to early intervention in reading
O'Connor, Rollanda E.; Bocian, Kathleen M; Beebe-Frankenberger, Margaret; Linklater, Danielle L.

A study of the effects of small group, short term phonemic awareness, alphabetic understanding, and oral language reading interventions on the language skills of 78 randomly assigned kindergartners with language difficulties

Reports & Papers

February, 2010

Neighborhoods as a developmental context: A multilevel analysis of neighborhood effects on Head Start families and children
Vaden-Kiernan, Michael; O'Brien, Robert W.; Tarullo, Louisa B.; Zill, Nicholas; McKey, Ruth Hubbell; D'Elio, Mary Ann;

A study of the relationships between neighborhood factors and children's cognitive and behavioral outcomes, including family and social factors that mediate and/or moderate these relationships, from an analysis of combined Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) and Census 2000 data

Reports & Papers

March, 2010

Effects of a professional development program on classroom practices and outcomes for Latino dual language learners
Buysse, Virginia; Castro, Dina Carmela; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.

A randomized, controlled study on the effects of the Nuestros Ninos professional development program on classroom practices and child outcomes related to language development and early literacy skills in both English and Spanish for 55 teachers and 193 Latino dual language learners enrolled in the North Carolina More at Four Pre-Kindergarten Program

Reports & Papers

Q2 2010

Threshold analysis of association between child care quality and child outcomes for low-income children in pre-kindergarten programs
Burchinal, Margaret; Vandergrift, Nathan; Pianta, Robert C.; Mashburn, Andrew J.

An examination of the relationship between child care quality and child academic and language skills outcomes of 1129 children from low income families enrolled in 671 prekindergarten classrooms in 11 states from the National Center for Early Development and Learning’s (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten and the NCEDL/National Institute for Early Education (NIEER) State-Wide Early Education Programs Study

Reports & Papers

Q2 2010

The effectiveness of the implementation of the Early Reading First initiative on preschool students with disabilities
Jones, Jiselle

An examination of the impact of the Early Reading First (ERF) program on receptive and expressive language, phonemic awareness, print-word awareness, and alphabetic knowledge of 3 and 4 year old preschoolers in combined regular and special education classrooms from a secondary analysis of a data with 81 students identified with a disability in the experimental group from 15 classrooms and a control group selected from 15 preschool classrooms that serves 24 students with a disability students, in 1 school district in Utah

Reports & Papers

2009

The relationships between home support for language and emergent literacy in low-income families, mother's education and immigrant status, and children's language and emergent literacy development at kindergarten entry
Illmer-Craciun, Doyna

An examination of both the relationships between home support for language and emergent literacy and children's language and emergent literacy development at kindergarten entry from a subsample 76 mothers and their 76 children participants from the National Early Head Start Parent Interview of Pre-K children

Reports & Papers

2009

Who should care for our kids?: The effects of infant child care on early child development
Peng, Duan; Robins, Philip K.

An examination that accounts for selection into care type of the relationship between various types of child care during the first year of a child's life and the child's language and social development measured at age 3 from Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study data

Reports & Papers

March, 2010

Measurement and population miss-fits: A case study on the importance of using appropriate measures to evaluate early childhood interventions
LeBoeuf, Whitney A.; Fantuzzo, John W.; Lopez, Michael;

An investigation of the appropriate use of the Child Behavior Check List (CBCL) from over 1,640 Caucasian, African American, and Latino 4 year old English or Spanish speaking children in the Comprehensive Child Development Program

Reports & Papers

January, 2010

How can parents get involved in preschool?: Barriers and engagement in education by ethnic minority parents of children attending Head Start
Mendez, Julia L.;

An investigation of an intervention to promote parent involvement with ethnic minority families of Head Start children from a quasi-experimental design that compares three cohorts of families receiving The Companion Curriculum with families recruited from comparison centers receiving standard Head Start services

Reports & Papers

January 2010

The language and literacy development of Head Start children: A study using the Family and Child Experiences Survey Database
Hammer, Carol Scheffner; Farkas, George; Maczuga, Steve

An investigation of the relationship between early literacy outcomes and child and family characteristics, speech-language impairment, and the home literacy environment of children from low income families from analyses of FACES 1997 data

Reports & Papers

January, 2010

Effects of a two-generation preschool programme on receptive language skill in low-income Canadian children
Benzies, Karen; Edwards, Nancy; Tough, Suzanne; Nagan, Kimberly; Mychasiuk, Richelle; Keown, Leslie-Anne; Donnelly, Carlene;

A comparison of receptive language skills prior to and after participation in a Canadian two-generation preschool program based on data collected from 112 Canadian, Aboriginal, and immigrant children from families with low incomes

Reports & Papers

April 2011

Novel word learning of preschoolers enrolled in Head Start regular and bilingual classrooms: Impact of adult vocabulary noneliciting questions during shared storybook reading
Walsh, Bridget A.;

An examination of the effect of eliciting and noneliciting questions during shared storybook reading on children's expressive and receptive knowledge of target words and on two measures of vocabulary with 45 children enrolled in monolingual Head Start classrooms and an examination of the effect of eliciting and noneliciting questions during storybook reading and parental home language use on expressive and receptive Spanish and English vocabulary of 28 children enrolled in English-Spanish bilingual Head Start classrooms

Reports & Papers

August 2009

Ecological influences on emergent literacy development: The role of home and preschool experiences in the transition from language to literacy
Genone, Sophia Sarah

An examination of the relationships between measures of children's home and preschool settings and their performance on tests of emergent literacy, as well as an examination of pre-reading abilities and the factors that contribute to their growth, from longitudinal data collected by the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER)

Reports & Papers

Spring 2009

ELL preschoolers' English vocabulary acquisition from storybook reading
Collins, Molly F.;

A study of the effect of the provision of rich definitions of inserted targeted vocabulary during storybook reading on preschooler English Language Learners' English vocabulary acquisition within a sample of 80 4- and 5-year-old children of immigrants whose native language is Portugese in 6 preschool classrooms

Reports & Papers

Q1 2010

Screening early reading skills in preschool children: Get Ready to Read
Molfese, Victoria J.; Modglin, Arlene A.; Walker, Jennifer; Neamon, Jessica D.; Molfese, Dennis L.;

A validity study of Get Ready to Read, a preschool screening tool of the phonological, oral language, and print knowledge skills in a sample of 73 3 year olds and 79 4 year old children from low-income families attending a federally funded preschool

Reports & Papers

June 2004

Mixed approach programs in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project: An in-depth view
Robinson, JoAnn; Klute, Mary M.; Faldowski, Richard A.; Pan, Barbara A.; Rector-Staerkel, Edna J. (Fredi); Summers, Jean Ann; Wall, Shavaun;

An examination of challenges faced by providers in the service delivery to families of 6 mixed approach programs, parent reported variety and intensity of service receipt over time and across program approaches, and the impact of the type and timing of receipt of Early Head Start services on child and family outcomes at 36 months through a secondary analysis of data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project of 1,392 families respondents to at least one of three parent interviews on service intensity

Reports & Papers

November, 2009

Project Early Kindergarten evaluation: Results through 2008-09 of a Saint Paul Public Schools initiative
Schultz, Jennifer Lee; Gozali-Lee, Edith; Mueller, Daniel P.;

An evaluation of the efficacy of Project Early Kindergarten (PEK) in the improvement of at risk children’s school readiness, including a comparison of the readiness of children attending PEK programs in school-based settings and community-based PEK programs

Reports & Papers

September 2009

Project Early Kindergarten-Early Reading First: Evaluation report on the third year of a Saint Paul Public Schools initiative
Gozali-Lee, Edith; Mueller, Daniel P.;

An inquiry into the influence of participation in the Project Early Prekindergarten-Early Reading First on children's language and literacy achievement, and an examination of the influence of participation by classrooms and schools on their improvement in the promotion of children's early literacy through the classroom environment

Reports & Papers

October, 2009

The New Mexico PreK evaluation: Results from the initial four years of a new state preschool initiative: Final report
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Goetze, Linda D.;

An evaluation of the quality, economic impact, and parent provider perceptions of New Mexico's prekindergarten program, and an examination of the influence of the program on children's academic achievements, based on data on participants in the program from the 2005-2006 through 2007-2008 academic school year

Reports & Papers

November, 2009

Effects of a preschool music and movement curriculum on children’s language skills
Yazejian, Noreen; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.;

An examination of the influence of children’s receipt of a music curriculum on their language skills, based on a sample of 207 children and 27 teachers from 3 Head Start programs in a suburban area of North Carolina, a rural area of Kentucky, and an urban area of New York

Reports & Papers

October 2009

Arts enrichment and school readiness for children at risk
Brown, Eleanor D.; Benedett, Barbara; Armistead, M. Elizabeth

A study of the growth of children's school readiness skills among low income and at risk children of different levels of development at a preschool using the Kaleidoscope arts enrichment curriculum, and a comparison of the vocabulary scores of children in this program with those of children in a nearby traditional preschool

Reports & Papers

Q1 2010

Continued impacts of New Mexico PreK on children's readiness for kindergarten: Results from the third year of implementation
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Figueras, Alexandra;

A study of the impacts of participation in New Mexico PreK, a state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children offered through a variety of public and community-based providers, on children's receptive vocabulary, early literacy, and early math skills at kindergarten entry

Reports & Papers

September, 2009

Measuring growth in bilingual and monolingual children's English productive vocabulary development: The utility of combining parent and teacher report
Vagh, Shaher Banu; Pan, Barbara A.; Mancilla-Martinez, Jeannette;

A comparison of vocabulary development and word acquisition skills between monolingual and bilingual children, and a discussion of methods to assess vocabulary development in young children, based on a sample of 85 low income English- and Spanish- and English-speaking children who attend Head Start programs in New England

Reports & Papers

September/October 2009

Differentiated instruction to support high-risk preschool learners
DeBaryshe, Barbara Diane; Gorecki, Dana M.; Mishima-Young, Lori N.;

An account of the academic gains of children who received differentiated instruction based on current early math and literacy skills, based on a sample of 128 at-level and high risk children from 8 Head Start classrooms in metropolitan Honolulu, Hawaii

Reports & Papers

July 2009

Targeting oral language development in high-risk preschoolers
Collins, Molly F.; Dennis, Sarah

Among risk factors associated with reading difficulties, poverty and underdeveloped oral language skills can be particularly detrimental to reading success. The City Early Reading First (CERF) project implemented a comprehensive curriculum, professional development, intensive mentoring, and home supports to enhance children's language, literacy, and cognitive skills. Participants (N = 75) were 4-year-old children and teaching staff from 8 Head Start classrooms in a large urban city in the Midwest. Within the larger project, CERF undertook an intervention - Language Enrichment Group (LEG) - that targeted at-risk preschoolers' oral language development, including vocabulary, discourse skills, and content knowledge. LEGs focused on deepening content knowledge, providing opportunities for language development, and fostering social skills. Whereas nearly half of all 4-year-olds were at risk for later reading difficulty according to fall Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test - III (PPVT) scores, only one fifth remained at risk by spring. Supportive features of LEGs, refinements for future projects, and implications for the field of early education are discussed.

Reports & Papers

July, 2009

Providing extra supports for language and literacy development to struggling learners in preschool
Smith, Sheila; Murphy, Doug; Dennis, Sarah; Davidson, S.; Light, Rebecca

Preschool teachers face increasing pressure to ensure that all children acquire the competencies they need to start on the path to becoming successful readers in the early grades, including children who may enter preschool with exceptionally weak skills. This article describes efforts to provide individually tailored supports to relatively high-risk learners in classrooms that participated in a federal Early Reading First project. It presents methods used to identify and monitor the progress of struggling learners, provide additional supports to these children, and support teachers in their work with high-risk learners. The article also presents findings from the project evaluation that suggest the potential benefits of targeted supports, coupled with a high-quality curriculum, for high-risk learners' language and literacy development and factors that may contribute to children's response to extra learning supports. Last, the article discusses both promising and challenging features of the interventions used and directions for future research that is needed to refine and rigorously assess this model. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July, 2009

An evaluation of graduates of a toddlerhood home visiting program at kindergarten age
Allen, LaRue; Sethi, Anita; Astuto, Jennifer;

In the winter and spring of 2002, 135 kindergartners in five Long Island school districts received a battery of tests focusing on 2 interrelated areas of school readiness: social-emotional skills such as the ability to follow teachers' directions and early literacy skills such as knowledge about books and about the alphabet. In addition, keeping in mind the recommendation of the National Education Goals Panel with regard to school readiness, parents were interviewed about their participation in and support of children's learning at home and at school. Children who had participated in PCHP at ages 2 and 3 were compared, at kindergarten age, with classmates who had not been in the program. Preliminary analyses revealed that PCHP graduates were different from their classmates on a number of variables, however. Specifically, children who participated in PCHP were more likely to have parents who were less educated, more likely to be Latino, and more likely to have parents who worked less hours per week for pay. While there were areas in which the two groups were similar-such as family size, likelihood of parents being married, and parents' age-the areas in which the groups were different each represent risk factors for school failure. Low parental education, immigrant status, and poverty are additive risk factors with regard to children's school readiness, such that children who have all three characteristics are at greater risk than children who have two or one. Further, while these are risks that we have defined, they are likely to be concomitant risks that we haven't defined, such as substandard housing and less health care. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April, 2007

Relationships between social skills, behavioral problems, and school readiness for Head Start children
Bracken, Stacey Storch; Fischel, Janet E.;

An exploration of the links between children's social skills, behavior problems, and academic outcomes, and an investigation of the effect of a literacy intervention on children's emergent literacy skills, based on a sample of 515 Head Start children from classrooms randomly assigned to receive the Let's Begin with the Letter People curriculum, the Waterford Early Reading Program, or the normal curriculum and assessed throughout the preschool year

Reports & Papers

August, 2007

Shared book reading: When and how questions affect young children’s word learning
Blewitt, Pamela; Rump, Keiran M.; Shealy, Stephanie E.; Cook, Samantha A.

Two studies of children’s learning of new words during shared book reading: an inquiry into the effectiveness of low or high demand and extratextual questions on children’s learning of new words from stories, and an examination of the association between children’s acquisition of targeted words and the use of questions of high, low, and transitioning from low-to-high demand, based on samples of 59 and 50 children, respectively, from 4 suburban, affluent preschools

Reports & Papers

August 2009

The APPLES Blossom: The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES): Preliminary results through 2nd grade: Interim report [Executive summary]
Frede, Ellen; Jung, Kwanghee; Barnett, W. Steven; Figueras, Alexandra;

A summary of preliminary findings from a longitudinal study on the lasting effects of participation in an Abbott prekindergarten program on children’s language, literacy, and math skills in first and second grade

Executive Summary

June, 2009

The APPLES Blossom: The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES): Preliminary results through 2nd grade: Interim report
Frede, Ellen; Jung, Kwanghee; Barnett, W. Steven; Figueras, Alexandra;

Preliminary findings from a longitudinal study on the lasting effects of participation in an Abbott prekindergarten program on children’s language, literacy, and math skills in first and second grade

Reports & Papers

June, 2009

Comparing universal and targeted prekindergarten programs
Dotterer, Aryn M.; Burchinal, Margaret; Bryant, Donna M.; Early, Diane Marie; Pianta, Robert C.;

A comparison of classroom characteristics and preschooler achievement outcomes in universal and targeted pre-k programs based on a sample of over 400 children in over 800 classrooms

Reports & Papers

2009

Language and academic abilities in children with selective mutism
Nowakowski, Matilda E.; Cunningham, Charles E.; McHolm, Angela E.; Evans, Mary Ann; Edison, Shannon; St. Pierre, Jeff; Boyle, Michael H.; Schmidt, Louis A.;

An inquiry into the influence of children’s anxiety and selective mutism on their academic abilities in non-language subject areas, based on a sample of 103 children, aged 6 through 10, and their parents, recruited from mental health agencies near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Reports & Papers

May/June 2009

Missouri Preschool Project: Parent report
Fuger, Kathryn Lu Magnuson; Todd, Melissa L.; Thornburg, Kathy R.; Mathews, Michelle C.; Mayfield, Wayne A.;

An inquiry into the child care experiences and development of children and families prior to entering kindergarten, based on a survey of 232 parents whose children participated in the Missouri Preschool Program (MPP) and were assessed for a previous study

Reports & Papers

July, 2003

Missouri Preschool Project: Child assessment report
Fuger, Kathryn Lu Magnuson; Todd, Melissa L.; Stephens, Dawana J.; Thornburg, Kathy R.; Mathews, Michelle C.; Mayfield, Wayne A.;

A study of the development of children participating in the Missouri Preschool Project (MPP) and its relation to program participation, based on assessments of participants and a comparison to a matched group of nonparticipants

Reports & Papers

July, 2003

The impact of the Kentucky professional development framework on child care, Head Start and public preschool classroom quality and child outcomes
Rous, Beth; Grove, Jaime; Cox, Megan; Townley, Kimberly; Crumpton, Gwendolyn;

A study of the factors that predict early childhood education and care professional development outcomes and the relationship of these factors to program quality, child outcomes, and staff retention, based on data collected from participants in a statewide professional development system in Kentucky and from their students, classrooms, and programs

Reports & Papers

2008

Peer effects on children’s language achievement during pre-kindergarten
Mashburn, Andrew J.; Justice, Laura M.; Downer, Jason T.; Pianta, Robert C.;

An inquiry into the role of children’s peer interactions in the acquisition of language skills, based on a subsample of 1,812 children from 453 prekindergarten classrooms in 11 states

Reports & Papers

May/June 2009

The impact of time spent coaching for teacher efficacy on student achievement
Shidler, Linda

A study of the correlation between the hours spent coaching teachers in content instruction and the vocabulary learning outcomes of the children they teach, based on a study of 12 Head Start classrooms in a central Florida over a period of 3 years

Reports & Papers

April 2009

From implementation to impact: An evaluation of the South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness program
High/Scope Educational Research Foundation;

A multi-component evaluation of South Carolina First Steps to School Readiness, a comprehensive state initiative aimed at improving early childhood development, that examined: the features and quality of First Steps-funded four-year-old kindergarten (4K) classrooms, and the characteristics and outcomes of 4K participants; families receiving child care vouchers through First Steps and the features and quality improvements of child care programs receiving First Steps funding for quality enhancement activities; outcomes of children whose parents participated in First Steps parenting and family strengthening activities; and the value added by channeling funding through First Steps offices rather than directly through agencies implementing First Steps programming

Reports & Papers

2006

The relations of observed pre-k classroom quality profiles to children's achievement and social competence
Curby, Timothy W.; LoCasale-Crouch, Jennifer; Konold, Timothy R.; Pianta, Robert C.; Howes, Carollee; Burchinal, Margaret; Bryant, Donna M.; Clifford, Richard M.; Early, Diane Marie; Barbarin, Oscar;

A study of the relationship between the growth in social and academic competence of children in the prekindergarten year and the level of emotional support measured in classroom teacher-child interactions, based on data collected about 2,028 prekindergarten children from several states

Reports & Papers

March 2009

Teacher education, book-reading practices, and children's language growth across one year of Head Start
Gerde, Hope K.; Powell, Douglas R.

A study of the relationship between children's vocabulary growth and both teachers' levels of education and their utterances during large-group book reading activities, based on data collected in classrooms in 6 Midwestern Head Start sites

Reports & Papers

March 2009

Early school transitions and the social behavior of children with disabilities: Selected findings from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study: Wave 3 overview report from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS)
Carlson, Elaine; Daley, Tamara; Bitterman, Amy; Heinzen, Harriotte; Keller, Brad; Markowitz, Joy; Riley, Jarnee;

Findings from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS), a nationally representative longitudinal study of three-, four-, and five-year-old children with disabilities, their program, grade, and school transitions, and their social behavior, from the study's first, second, and third waves during the 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 school years

Reports & Papers

2009

It takes time: Impacts of Early Head Start that lead to reductions in maternal depression two years later
Chazan-Cohen, Rachel; Ayoub, Catherine; Pan, Barbara A.; Roggman, Lori A.; Raikes, Helen; McKelvey, Lorraine; Whiteside-Mansell, Leanne; Hart, Andrea D.;

A study of the effect of Early Head Start participation on levels of maternal depression at the time of school entry, based on data collected at 17 Early Head Start programs nationwide

Reports & Papers

March/April 2007

How do linguistically diverse students fare in full- and half-day kindergarten?: Examining academic achievement, instructional quality, and attendance
Hall-Kenyon, Kendra M.; Bingham, Gary E.; Korth, Byran B.;

A comparison of four full-day and four half-day kindergartens in the areas of instructional quality, attendance rates, and student academic achievement, and an examination of the scores of the sub-populations of kindergarteners learning English as an additional language within these classrooms

Reports & Papers

January, 2009

Results for year 2 of an Early Reading First project
Martin, Kathleen; Emfinger, Kay; Snyder, Scott W.; O'Neal, Marcia;

A comparison of the literacy skills of two groups of children from the same Southern community: approximately 100 middle-income children from a single church-supported child care center, and approximately 120 low-income children exposed to the Early Reading First program in a variety of settings

Reports & Papers

Winter 2007

Young children acquiring second language vocabulary in preschool group-time: Does amount, diversity, and discourse complexity of teacher talk matter?
Aukrust, Vibeke Grover;

A study of the relationship between exposure to second-language discourse of teachers in preschool and children's second-language vocabulary acquisition in preschool and by first grade, based on data collected from 27 native Turkish-speaking children in Norwegian-speaking environments

Reports & Papers

Fall 2007

Enhancing the interactions of teenage mothers and their at-risk children: Effectiveness of a maternal-focused intervention
Deutscher, Barbara; Fewell, Rebecca R.; Gross, Michelle; Pro-Ed (Firm);

A study of the effect of the Parents and Children Experiencing Success (PACES) parent training intervention on the maternal responsiveness of adolescent parents and the language development of their infants and toddlers, based on an experimental group of 48 mother-child dyads and a control group of 46 dyads

Reports & Papers

Winter 2006

Effects of a pre-kindergarten mathematics intervention: A randomized experiment
Klein, Alice; Starkey, Prentice; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Iyer, Roopa;

An evaluation of the effect of the implementation of the Pre-K Mathematics curriculum and the DLM Express software package on the mathematical knowledge of low-income children in Head Start and public preschool classrooms in greater San Francisco and Buffalo, based on a study of 20 experimental and 20 control-group classrooms

Reports & Papers

2008

What helps and hinders Hmong pre-kindergartners' school readiness?: Learning from and about the Hmong in St. Paul, Minnesota
Xiong, Zha Blong; Yang, Kao Kalia; Lee, Jesse Kao;

A study of the conditions of Hmong children and families in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hmong children's school readiness, and factors that help and hinder Hmong children's school readiness, based on administrative and child care provider data and on focus groups

Reports & Papers

April, 2008

Applying a response-to-intervention model for early literacy development in low-income children
Gettinger, Maribeth; Stoiber, Karen C.;

A description of the design and implementation and a preliminary evaluation of the Exemplary Model of Early Reading Growth and Excellence (EMERGE) early literacy program in 15 preschool classrooms in low-income areas of Milwaukee

Reports & Papers

Winter 2007

Project Early Kindergarten-Early Reading First: Evaluation report on the second year of a Saint Paul Public Schools initiative
Gozali-Lee, Edith; Mueller, Daniel P.; Broton, Katie;

An evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of the second year of Project Early K-Early Reading First, an early kindergarten program in St. Paul, Minnesota, intended to facilitate the transition of four-year-old children to kindergarten that uses federal Early Reading First funding and a literacy-focused curriculum

Reports & Papers

October, 2008

Project Early Kindergarten evaluation update: General overview of results through 2007-08 of a Saint Paul Public Schools initiative
Mohr, Caryn; Mueller, Daniel P.; Gozali-Lee, Edith;

A synthesis of different components of an implementation and outcomes evaluation through the fourth year of Project Early Kindergarten, an early kindergarten program in St. Paul, Minnesota, for four-year-old children intended to facilitate the transition to kindergarten

Reports & Papers

September 2008

Access to the general education curriculum for preschoolers with disabilities: Children’s school success
Lieber, Joan; Horn, Eva M.; Palmer, Susan B.; Fleming, Kandace;

A study of the academic and social skill gains of 58 children with disabilities during their preschool year in classrooms using the Children’s School Success (CSS) curriculum

Reports & Papers

2008

A study of Classroom Literacy Interventions and Outcomes in Even Start
Judkins, David R.; St. Pierre, Robert G.; Gutmann, Babette; Goodson, Barbara D.; Von Glatz, Adrienne; Hamilton, Jennifer; Webber, Ann; Troppe, Patricia; Rimdzius, Tracy;

An evaluation of the impacts of research-based, literacy-focused early childhood education and parenting education curricula in Even Start programs on child language, literacy, and social competence, parenting skills, parent literacy, and instructional practices in Even Start, including: a comparison of the impacts of preschool, parenting, and parent-child curricula with the impacts of existing Even Start services; and an examination of the value added by parenting and parent-child curricula to preschool curricula

Reports & Papers

September, 2008

Family reading behavior and early literacy skills in preschool children from low-income backgrounds
Bracken, Stacey Storch; Fischel, Janet E.;

A study of the relationship between family reading behavior and child literacy skills in a sample of 233 low-income preschoolers attending Head Start, and an examination of the role of demographic variables in predicting early literacy skills

Reports & Papers

January, 2008

Children's prelitercy skills: Influence of mothers' education and beliefs about shared-reading interactions
Curenton, Stephanie M.; Justice, Laura M.;

A study of the association of children's preliteracy skills with maternal education and home literacy activities, and an examination of the mediating variable of maternal beliefs about literacy activities, among 45 mothers and their preschoolers from a small Appalachian community

Reports & Papers

March 2008

Relationship-focused child care practices: Quality of care and child outcomes for children in poverty
Owen, Margaret T.; Klausli, Julia F.; Mata-Otero, Ana-Maria; Caughy, Margaret O'Brien;

A study of the effect of relationship-focused child care practices on the cognitive and social development of 223 African-American and Hispanic preschool children enrolled in Head Start or Head Start affiliate centers

Reports & Papers

March 2008

Relationships between teachers and preschoolers who are at risk: Contribution of children’s language skills, temperamentally based attributes, and gender
Justice, Laura M.; Cottone, Elizabeth A.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.;

A study of the correlations of child shyness, anger, comprehension, and gender to teacher-child closeness and conflict in a sample of 133 preschoolers and their teachers from 16 Head Start or public prekindergarten programs

Reports & Papers

July 2008

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (4th ed.)
Dunn, Lloyd M.; Dunn, Douglas M.;

Instruments

2007

Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum: A randomized trial
Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Yarosz, Donald J.; Thomas, Jessica; Hornbeck, Amy; Stechuk, Robert A.; Burns, M. Susan;

An evaluation of the impact of the Tools of the Mind curriculum on the cognitive, self-regulation, and language skills of preschoolers at a public preschool in a low-income neighborhood

Reports & Papers

Q3 2008

Who drops out of Early Head Start home visiting programs?
Roggman, Lori A.; Cook, Gina A.; Peterson, Carla A.; Raikes, Helen;

An examination of the timing, factors, and predictors of the discontinuance of participation in Early Head Start home-based programs, based on a sample of 564 families

Reports & Papers

2008

Effects of preschool curriculum programs on school readiness: Report from the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research initiative
Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Consortium;

The final report from the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research initiative, which conducted multi-site experimental evaluations of 14 preschool curricula's impacts on child outcomes (including behavior and early language, literacy, and math skills) at the end of preschool and in kindergarten, and on preschool classroom outcomes (including classroom quality, teacher-child interactions, and instructional practices)

Reports & Papers

July, 2008

Assessing the validity of the Qualistar Early Learning quality rating and improvement system as a tool for improving child-care quality
Zellman, Gail L.; Perlman, Michal; Le, Vi-Nhuan; Setodji, Claude Messan;

An evaluation of the Colorado Qualistar Early Learning quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), including: an assessment of system components and the relationships between them; a comparison of Qualistar measures to other established quality measures; and an examination of the association between quality improvements as measured by Qualistar components and children's socioemotional and cognitive outcomes.

Reports & Papers

2008

Changes in the characteristics, services, and performance of preschoolers with disabilities from 2003-04 to 2004-05: Wave 2 overview report from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS)
Carlson, Elaine; Daley, Tamara; Shimshak, Amy; Riley, Jarnee; Keller, Brad; Jenkins, Frank; Markowitz, Joy;

Findings from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS), a nationally representative longitudinal study of three-, four-, and five-year-old children with disabilities, the services they receive, and their transition to and performance in school, from the study's first and second waves during the 2003-04 and 2004-05 school years

Reports & Papers

2008

Impacts of New Mexico PreK on children's school readiness at kindergarten entry: Results from the second year of a growing initiative
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Figueras, Alexandra;

A study of the effects of participation in New Mexico PreK, a state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children offered through a variety of public and community-based providers, on children's receptive vocabulary, early literacy, and early math skills at kindergarten entry, based on assessments of children participating in the program's second year

Reports & Papers

June, 2008

Longitudinal effects of the Arkansas Better Chance program: Findings from kindergarten and first grade
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study of the relation of participation in Arkansas Better Chance (ABC), a state-funded child care and early education program for preschool-age children from low-income families, to the literacy, language, and math development of children at the beginning and end of kindergarten and at the end of first grade, and a study of classroom quality in the ABC program

Reports & Papers

May, 2008

Evaluation of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program year 6 report (July 1, 2006-June 30, 2007): Children's longitudinal outcomes and program quality over time (2003-2007)
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Schaaf, Jennifer M.;

A longitudinal follow-up in their kindergarten year of two cohorts of participants (starting the program in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, respectively) in the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program, a state-funded initiative to provide high-quality educational experiences to at-risk four-year-olds, that evaluated classroom quality and participant outcomes, based on classroom observations and child assessments

Reports & Papers

February, 2008

Children with autistic spectrum disorder in early childhood education programs: A social constructivist perspective on inclusion
Walker, Sue; Berthelsen, Donna C.;

An investigation of the social competence, nature of play interactions, and degree of social acceptance of young children with autism in Australian inclusive early childhood programs

Reports & Papers

2008

North Carolina's kindergartners & schools technical report: Addendum to the April 2001 summary report
Maxwell, Kelly; Ridley, Stephanie M.; Keyes-Elstein, Lynette; Bryant, Donna M.;

Findings from a study of children and schools in North Carolina to determine statewide school readiness

Reports & Papers

2001

Mental health screening of preschool children: Validity and reliability of ABLE
Barbarin, Oscar;

An assessment of a screening tool used to identify preschool children potentially suffering from attention, behavior, language, and emotional difficulties

Reports & Papers

July 2007

Improving young children's social and emotional competence: A randomized trial of the preschool "PATHS" curriculum
Domitrovich, Celene E.; Cortes, Rebecca; Greenberg, Mark T.;

An evaluation of the efficacy of a preschool version of the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) in a three-year randomized trial involving 10 intervention and 10 control classes at two Head Start sites in Pennsylvania

Reports & Papers

March 2007

Preschool program improves cognitive control
Diamond, Adele; Barnett, W. Steven; Thomas, Jessica; Munro, Sarah;

An experimental study of the effect of Tools of the Mind, a curriculum designed to increase social and emotional self-regulation, on the executive function of a sample of 147 low-income preschool children

Reports & Papers

30 November, 2007

An eco-behavioral analysis of children’s engagements in urban public school preschool classrooms
Powell, Douglas R.; Burchinal, Margaret; File, Nancy; Kontos, Susan;

An analysis of child engagement in the activities of preschool classrooms featuring different sized groups, the presence or absence of teachers during free play, and the different styles of talk used by teachers, in 12 classrooms in a large urban school district in the Midwest

Reports & Papers

Q1 2008

Ready to learn?: Children's pre-academic achievement in pre-kindergarten programs
Howes, Carollee; Burchinal, Margaret; Pianta, Robert C.; Bryant, Donna M.; Early, Diane Marie; Clifford, Richard M.; Barbarin, Oscar;

An evaluation of the effects of program structural and process quality, materials, effective teaching, and teacher-child relationships on academic and social skills outcomes in a sample of 2800 children from state-funded pre-kindergarten programs in eleven states

Reports & Papers

February, 2008

Effects of five state prekindergarten programs on early learning
Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Wong, Vivian C.; Cook, Thomas D.; Lamy, Cynthia Esposito;

A study of the impact of state prekindergarten programs in Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia on children's vocabulary, math, and print awareness skills by comparing children who had completed a year of prekindergarten with nonparticipants who had missed the enrollment age cut-off and were about to start prekindergarten

Reports & Papers

October, 2007

The joint influence of mother and father parenting on child cognitive outcomes at age 5
Martin, Anne; Ryan, Rebecca M.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne;

An assessment of the association between both maternal and paternal supportiveness during toddlerhood and young children?s math and language achievement at age 5 in a sample of 200 low-income two-parent homes participating in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

Reports & Papers

Q4 2007

An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs
Wong, Vivian C.; Cook, Thomas D.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A comparison of the pre-kindergarten programs in Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia, including an examination of the math, reading, and vocabulary scores of participating children, and an exploration of the relationship between program quality and outcomes

Reports & Papers

Winter 2008

Investigating the validity of the Australian Early Development Index
Brinkman, Sally A.; Silburn, Sven; Lawrence, David; Goldfeld, Sharon; Sayers, Mary; Oberklaid, Frank;

An investigation of the validity of the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI), a community-level test of school readiness, by comparing its results with those of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LAEC) in a sample of 642 children

Reports & Papers

2007

Predicting early school achievement with EDI: A longitudinal population-based study
Forget-Dubois, Nadine; Lemelin, Jean-Pascal; Boivin, Michel; Dionne, Ginette; Seguin, Jean R.; Vitaro, Frank; Tremblay, Richard E.;

An assessment of the predictive value of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) on early school achievement in a sample of 2,223 children in Quebec, Canada

Reports & Papers

2007

One authentic early literacy practice and three standardized tests: Can a storytelling curriculum measure up?
Cooper, Patricia M.; Capo, Karen; Mathes, Bernie; Gray, Lincoln;

A study of the effects of a storytelling curriculum on the vocabulary and literacy abilities of children in prekindergarten and kindergarten

Reports & Papers

July 2007

Assessing the role of book reading practices in Indian bilingual children's English language and literacy development
Kalia, Vrinda;

An examination of the impact of Indian bilingual parents’ book reading practices on the development of their children’s English oral language, narrative, and literacy skills, testing the skills of 24 bilingual children from two preschools in Bangalore, India

Reports & Papers

October 2007

Two-way and monolingual English immersion in preschool education: An experimental comparison
Barnett, W. Steven; Yarosz, Donald J.; Thomas, Jessica; Jung, Kwanghee; Blanco, Dulce;

A comparison of the effects of dual language versus monolingual English immersion preschool education programs on children's learning, comparing data from 20 classrooms taught in both English and Spanish, and 16 classrooms taught only in English

Reports & Papers

Q3 2007

National Reporting System Child Assessment
United States. Administration for Children and Families;

Instruments

2003

Preschoolers with disabilities: Characteristics, services, and results: Wave 1 overview from the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS)
National Center for Special Education Research;

An overview of data collected during the first year of the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS), a national study of 2,906 preschool children with special needs, including data on: characteristics of children, families, services, and providers; transitions; and school-related readiness and behavior

Reports & Papers

2006

The effects of the New Mexico PreK Initiative on young children's school readiness
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Pew Charitable Trusts;

A study of the effects of the New Mexico PreK initiative on the receptive vocabulary, early literacy, and early math skills of children entering kindergarten, using data from a sample of 886 children from across New Mexico

Reports & Papers

August, 2007

Children With autism illuminate the role of social intention in word learning
Parish-Morris, Julia; Hennon, Elizabeth A.; Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy; Golinkoff, Roberta M.; Tager-Flusberg, Helen;

A comparison of the impact of methods of social interaction on word learning among autistic and non-autistic children between the ages of 2 and 5, based on observational data

Reports & Papers

July 2007

Project Early K 2005-06 evaluation results: School component
Mueller, Daniel P.; Heinrichs, Marian; Gozali-Lee, Edith; Schultz, Jennifer Lee;

An evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of Project Early K, an early kindergarten program in St. Paul, Minnesota, for four-year-old children intended to facilitate the transition to kindergarten, based on interviews with principals, classroom observations, school and program records, parent surveys, and child assessments

Reports & Papers

September 2006

An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs using regression-discontinuity
Wong, Vivian C.; Cook, Thomas D.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study of the impact of state prekindergarten programs in Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia on children's vocabulary, math, and print awareness skills by comparing children who had completed a year of prekindergarten with nonparticipants who had missed the enrollment age cut-off and were about to start prekindergarten

Reports & Papers

June, 2007

Spanish-speaking children's social and language development in pre-kindergarten classrooms
Chang, Florence; Crawford, Gisele M.; Early, Diane Marie; Bryant, Donna M.; Howes, Carollee; Burchinal, Margaret; Barbarin, Oscar; Clifford, Richard M.; Pianta, Robert C.;

A discussion of the Spanish and English language interactions that Spanish-speaking children experience in the pre-K classroom in relation to their social and cognitive outcomes, based on data from 345 Spanish-speaking students in pre-K programs

Reports & Papers

2007

Maternal literacy beliefs and the quality of mother-child book-reading interactions: Associations with children's early literacy development
Bingham, Gary E.;

An examination of the relationship between early literacy skills development and mothers’ literacy-related beliefs, the home literacy environment, and the quality of mother–child book-reading interactions, based on questionnaires and observational data from 60 mothers and their preschool children

Reports & Papers

2007

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES): Interim report
Frede, Ellen; Jung, Kwanghee; Barnett, W. Steven; Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Figueras, Alexandra;

The interim results through kindergarten of a longitudinal study of the impact of participation in the New Jersey Abbott Preschool Program, a publicly-funded, high-quality preschool program for children in high-poverty school districts, based on classroom observations and direct child assessments

Reports & Papers

June, 2007

Evaluation of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program: Year 5 report (July 1, 2005-June 30, 2006): Children's outcomes & program quality in the fifth year
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Schaaf, Jennifer M.; More at Four Evaluation Team;

An evaluation of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 years of the North Carolina More at Four program, a state-funded initiative to provide high-quality educational experiences to at-risk four-year-olds, that addresses characteristics of local programs, quality of services provided, and participant outcomes, based on monthly program reports, classroom observations, and child assessments

Reports & Papers

February, 2007

Evaluation of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program: Children's longitudinal outcomes and classroom quality in kindergarten
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Maris, Catherine L.; More at Four Evaluation Team;

A longitudinal follow-up at kindergarten of participants in the 2003-2004 year of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program, a state-funded initiative to provide high-quality educational experiences to at-risk four-year-olds, that evaluated classroom quality and participant outcomes, based on classroom observations and child assessments

Reports & Papers

August, 2006

Evaluation of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program: Year 3 report: July 1, 2003-June 30, 2004
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Maris, Catherine L.; More at Four Evaluation Team;

An evaluation of the statewide North Carolina More at Four program, a state-funded initiative to provide high-quality educational experiences to at-risk four-year-olds, that addresses characteristics of local programs, quality of services provided, parent satisfaction, and participant outcomes, based on monthly program reports, classroom observations, parent surveys, and child assessments

Reports & Papers

2005

Evaluation of the North Carolina More at Four pre-kindergarten program: Year 2 report: July 1, 2002-June 30, 2003
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Maris, Catherine L.; More at Four Evaluation Team;

An evaluation of the statewide North Carolina More at Four program, a state-funded initiative to provide high-quality educational experiences to at-risk four-year-olds, that addresses characteristics of local programs, quality of services provided, parent satisfaction, and participant outcomes, based on monthly program reports, classroom observations, parent surveys, and child assessments

Reports & Papers

February, 2005

Facilitating use of evidence-based language teaching practices in preschool classrooms
Wilcox, M. Jeanne; Murphy, Kathleen M.;

An observational examination of the impact of new language teaching practices on Head Start teachers' classroom behaviors and young children's language development

Reports & Papers

18 October, 2002

Relating effortful control, executive function, and false belief understanding to emerging math and literacy ability in kindergarten
Blair, Clancy; Razza, Rachel Peters;

An analysis of the correlation between self-regulation in preschool and academic outcomes in kindergarten, among a sample of 141 low income 3- to 5-year-olds attending Head Start programs in rural and non-urban locations

Reports & Papers

March/April 2007

Testing equivalence of mediating models of income, parenting, and school readiness for white, black, and Hispanic children in a national sample
Raver, C. Cybele; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Aber, J. Lawrence;

An investigation of complex models of the relations among family income, parenting skills, and school readiness examing variations in testing equivalence for Hispanic, white, and black preschool children using nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K)

Reports & Papers

January/February 2007

Preliminary evidence for the impact of mixed-income preschools on low-income children's language growth
Schechter, Carlota; Bye, Beth;

An examination of the impact of attending a mixed-income preschool on low income children's language development as compared with the language development of low income children attending non-economically integrated programs

Reports & Papers

Q1 2007

Assessing school readiness: Validity and bias in preschool and kindergarten teachers' ratings
Mashburn, Andrew J.; Henry, Gary T.;

An examination of how preschool and kindergarten teachers' rate their students in terms of school readiness, academic skills, and communication skills and a comparison of these ratings with direct assessments of the children's skills

Reports & Papers

December 2004

The effects of the Arkansas Better Chance program on young children's school readiness
Hustedt, Jason T.; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Thomas, Jessica;

A study of the effects of Arkansas Better Chance, a state-funded child care and early education program for preschool-age children from low-income families, on the literacy, language, and math development of children entering kindergarten

Reports & Papers

January, 2007

Enhancing early literacy skills for preschool children: Bringing a professional development model to scale
Landry, Susan H.; Swank, Paul R.; Smith, Karen E.; Assel, Michael A.; Gunnewig, Susan B.;

A two-year evaluation of a professional development program designed to help Head Start preschool teachers promote young children's early literacy skills, comparing children's literacy skills with the literacy skills of children whose teachers did not receive any professional development training

Reports & Papers

July/August 2006

African American preschoolers' language, emergent literacy skills, and use of African American English: A complex relation
Connor, Carol McDonald; Craig, Holly K.;

An examination of the relation between Head Start African American preschoolers' use of African American English and their language and emergent literacy skills

Reports & Papers

August 2006

Teacher and classroom characteristics associated with teachers' ratings of prekindergartners' relationships and behaviors
Mashburn, Andrew J.; Hamre, Bridget; Downer, Jason T.; Pianta, Robert C.;

An investigation of the effects of teacher and classroom characteristics on their ratings of preschool socioemotional competence using data from the National Center for Early Development and Learning Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten, 2001-2003

Reports & Papers

2006

Effects of an emergent literacy intervention for children with language impairments from low-income environments
Ziolkowski, Robyn A.

An examination of the effectiveness of an emergent phonological and print awareness intervention conducted three times a week during shared book reading sessions with low income preschool children with and without language impairments

Reports & Papers

2004

Contexts for facilitating emergent literacy in typically developing preschoolers
Wilhjelm, Karen N.

An examination of the effects of a combined intervention approach (dialogic reading and phonological awareness) on the emergent literacy skills of preschoolers as compared with the effects of only teaching dialogic reading

Reports & Papers

2004

Teaching and tracking emergent literacy in Head Start
Shaller, Gary E.

An examination of the impact of an early intervention literacy curriculum on Head Start children's emergent literacy skills

Reports & Papers

2005

Language and literacy environment quality in early childhood classrooms: Exploration of measurement strategies and relations with children's development
Holland-Coviello, Rebecca

An examination of variations within and between preschool classrooms' supports that impact young at-risk children's emergent literacy skills and language development

Reports & Papers

August 2005

Cross-language transfer of phonological awareness in low-income Spanish and English bilingual preschool children
Dickinson, David K.; McCabe, Allyssa; Clark-Chiarelli, Nancy; Wolf, Anne;

An examination of the pattern of phonological awareness development in preschool children from Spanish-speaking homes and an investigation of the extent to which phonological awareness development in one language is transferred to a second language and how it affects emergent literacy

Reports & Papers

2004

Enhancing phonological awareness and letter knowledge in preschool children with Down syndrome
Bysterveldt, Anne K. van; Gillon, Gail T.; Moran, Catherine;

An investigation of the effectiveness of a phonological awareness intervention on emergent literacy skills of New Zealand preschool children with Down syndrome

Reports & Papers

2006

Children enrolled in public pre-K: The relation of family life, neighborhood quality, and socioeconomic resources to early competence
Barbarin, Oscar; Bryant, Donna M.; McCandies, Terry T.; Burchinal, Margaret; Early, Diane Marie; Clifford, Richard M.; Pianta, Robert C.; Howes, Carollee;

An examination of the relations of young children's sociodemographic characteristics, parental well-being, family functioning, and neighborhood quality to their early academic achievements and socioemotional competence

Reports & Papers

2006

Head Start Performance Measures Center Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES 2000) technical report
Zill, Nicholas; Resnick, Gary; Kim, Kwang; O'Donnell, Kevin; Sorongon, Alberto; Ziv, Yair; Alva, Souma; McKey, Ruth Hubbell; Pai-Samant, Shefali; Clark, Cheryl; O'Brien, Robert W.; D'Elio, Mary Ann;

A longitudinal study of the academic and social outcomes of Head Start children during the Head Start years and in kindergarten, based on data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), 2000 Cohort

Reports & Papers

February, 2006

Mother-child bookreading in low-income families: Correlates and outcomes during the first three years of life
Raikes, Helen; Pan, Barbara A.; Luze, Gayle J.; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Constantine, Jill; Tarullo, Louisa B.; Raikes, H. Abigail; Rodriguez, Eileen;

An investigation of the impact of mother-child book reading on low income young children's cognitive and language development as well as an examination of book reading in relation to the Early Head Start intervention using data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

Reports & Papers

July/August 2006

The effect of questioning style during storybook reading on novel vocabulary acquisition of preschoolers
Walsh, Bridget A.; Blewitt, Pamela;

A study of the impact of different questioning styles on preschool children's comprehension of new words during shared storybook reading

Reports & Papers

2006

Effects of junior kindergarten on emerging literacy in children from low-income and linguistic-minority families
Pagani, Linda; Jalbert, Julie; Lapointe, Pierre; Hebert, Martine;

An examination of the impact of prekindergarten on low income, linguistic-minority four-year-old children as compared with emergent literacy of linguistic-majority children at the end of the prekindergarten year

Reports & Papers

2006

Are teachers' education, major, and credentials related to classroom quality and children's academic gains in pre-kindergarten?
Early, Diane Marie; Bryant, Donna M.; Pianta, Robert C.; Clifford, Richard M.; Burchinal, Margaret; Ritchie, Sharon; Howes, Carollee; Barbarin, Oscar;

An investigation using data from the NCEDL Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten, 2001-2003, to examine if early educators' education, early childhood major, and credentials are related to classroom quality and preschool children's academic achievements

Reports & Papers

2006

A longitudinal investigation of preschoolers' Head Start experience and subsequent school readiness
Wheeler, Crista M.

A longitudinal study of differences in Texan Head Start programs, specifically examining the effects of one year attendance as compared with the effects of two year attendance on preschool children's school readiness

Reports & Papers

2002

Storybook Activities for Improving Language: Effects on language and literacy outcomes in Head Start preschool classrooms
Simon, Kathryn K.

A study of the effectiveness of Storybook Activities for Improving Language (SAIL), an early literacy intervention designed to help improve Head Start preschool children's language development and emergent literacy skills

Reports & Papers

2003

Multidimensional father involvement and its association with Head Start children's school readiness
Downer, Jason T.;

A study of the impact of different measures of father involvement, including observations of father-child play interactions, on Head Start children's school readiness

Reports & Papers

2003

Early bilingual lexical development among low-income Latino children
Barrueco, Sandra;

A study using a sample of Latino Head Start children to examine the relationship between bilingualism and lexical development, specifically examining the impact of the dominant language

Reports & Papers

August, 2003

Testing concerns in preschool: What administrators should know about testing oral language in young children
Enriquez, Blanca E.

A quasi-experimental study of Texan Head Start children to investigate the correlation between norm referenced testing and teacher observation assessment in the area of language development

Reports & Papers

2004

Literate behaviors in African American Head Start families: A multiple literacies perspective
Daniels, Janese K.;

An examination of the use of home literacy activities in African American Head Start families and the effect of these activities on preschool children's language and literacy development

Reports & Papers

2004

Head Start children's literacy experiences and outcomes: Associations with mothers' beliefs and behaviors
Bojczyk, Kathryn E.

An examination of the impact of mothers' beliefs and behaviors regarding home literacy activities on Head Start children's early literacy experiences and school readiness

Reports & Papers

2004

The effects of using non-fiction interactive read-alouds on expressive and receptive vocabulary of preschool children
Bortnem, Gayle M.

A study of the impact of non-fiction interactive read-alouds on Head Start preschool children's vocabulary development and emergent literacy skills

Reports & Papers

2005

Investigating the behavioral outcomes of an early literacy intervention for at-risk preschool children
Scott, Danielle D.

An experimental study investigating the impact of an early literacy intervention program on the behavioral development of at risk preschool children enrolled in Head Start

Reports & Papers

2005

Father book reading behaviors and pre-kindergarten emergent literacy
Brooks, Cherri H.

A longitudinal study assessing Head Start fathers' book reading behaviors and their impact on preschool children's early literacy skills

Reports & Papers

2005

Early intervention in low birth weight premature infants: Results at 18 years of age for the Infant Health and Development Program
McCormick, Marie C.; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne; Buka, Stephen L.; Goldman, Julie; Yu, Jennifer; Salagnik, Mikhail; Scott, David T.; Bennett, Forrest C.; Kay, Libby L.; Bernbaum, Judy C.; Bauer, Charles R.; Martin, Camilia R.; Woods, Elizabeth R.; Martin, Anne; Casey, Patrick H.;

Findings from a follow-up study on the persistence of cognitive and behavioral benefits from early childhood program participation in 18-year-olds who were born with low birth weight and participated in the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP)

Reports & Papers

2006

Rimes are not necessarily favored by prereaders: Evidence from meta- and epilinguistic phonological tasks
Savage, Robert; Blair, Rebecca; Rvachew, Susan;

A study of preschool children's facilities in phonological awareness tasks, comparing the abilities of nonreading preschool children with those of literate preschool children, and discussing strategies for early education teachers

Reports & Papers

2006

Is more better?: The effects of full-day vs. half-day preschool on early school achievement
Robin, Kenneth B.; Frede, Ellen; Barnett, W. Steven;

A longitudinal random assignment study comparing the effects of half- and full-day preschool program participation on vocabulary and math skills of preschool children through first grade, based on direct child assessment

Reports & Papers

May, 2006

Estimated impacts of number of years of preschool attendance on vocabulary, literacy and math skills at kindergarten entry
Barnett, W. Steven; Lamy, Cynthia Esposito;

An analysis of the effects of years of preschool attendance on vocabulary, literacy, and math skills at kindergarten entrance based on direct child assessments

Reports & Papers

2006

The infant-toddler HOME in the 2nd and 3rd years of life
Fuligni, Allison Sidle; Han, Wen-Jui; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne;

A description of the development of subscales of the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment (HOME) Infant and Toddler version using data from three large scale national studies

Reports & Papers

2004

Educational effectiveness of a Vygotskian approach to preschool education: A randomized trial
Barnett, W. Steven; Yarosz, Donald J.; Thomas, Jessica; Hornbeck, Amy;

A random assignment experimental evaluation of the effects of Tools of the Mind, a Vygotskian-based curriculum, on the cognitive, linguistic, and socioemotional development of preschool children based on direct assessment and classroom observation

Reports & Papers

2006

Promoting language and literacy development through parent-child reading in Hong Kong preschoolers
Chow, Bonnie Wing-Yin; McBride-Chang, Catherine;

An experimental study conducted to determine if home literacy activities affected Hong Kong preschool children's literacy and language development

Reports & Papers

2003

The effects of a language and literacy intervention on Head Start children and teachers
Wasik, Barbara A.; Bond, Mary Alice; Hindman, Annemarie H.;

A comparative study examining how young Head Start children were affected by the implementation of a language and literacy intervention program designed to train teachers to increase opportunities for developing language and vocabulary in young children

Reports & Papers

2006

Growing readers: A hierarchical linear model of children's reading growth during the first two years of school
McCoach, D. Betsy; O'Connell, Ann; Reis, Sally M.; Levitt, Heather A.;

A study using data from the first four waves of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort to provide a hierarchical linear model of young children's literacy development over the first two years of school

Reports & Papers

2006

Child care for working poor families: Child development and parent employment outcomes
Elicker, James; Clawson, Carolyn; Hong, Soo-Young; Kim, Tae-Eun; Evangelou, Demetra; Kontos, Susan;

Findings from a study of the types and quality of child care used by low income working families in four Indiana communities, and their relation to child development and parent employment outcomes

Reports & Papers

2005

Involvement in Early Head Start home visiting services: Demographic predictors and relations to child and parent outcomes
Raikes, Helen; Green, Beth L.; Atwater, Jane; Kisker, Ellen Eliason; Constantine, Jill; Chazan-Cohen, Rachel;

One strand of home visiting research investigates efficacy while another investigates under what conditions programs achieve outcomes. The current study follows the latter approach. Using a within-program design in a sample of 11 home-based sites in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation study, this study found that three components of home visits (quantity of involvement including number of home visits, duration in the program, length of visits and intensity of service; quality of engagement including global ratings of engagement by staff and ratings of engagement during each home visit; and the extent to which home visits were child focused) represented distinguishable aspects of home visit services. Demographic variables predicted components of involvement, and home visit involvement components were differentially related to outcomes at 36 months, after controlling for demographic/family factors and earlier functioning on the same measure. Only one quantity of involvement variable (duration) predicted improvements in home language and literacy environments at 36 months. Quality of involvement variables were negative predictors of maternal depressive symptoms at 36 months. Finally, the proportion of time during the visit devoted to child-focused activities predicted children's cognitive and language development scores, parent HOME scores, and parental support for language and learning when children were 36 months of age. Implications for home visiting programs and policies are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2006

Child and maternal contributions to shared reading: Effects on language and literacy development
Deckner, Deborah F.; Adamson, Lauren B.; Bakeman, Roger;

A longitudinal study of the effects of mother-child home literacy practices on children's expressive and receptive language development, letter knowledge, and knowledge of print concepts from 18 to 42 months of age

Reports & Papers

2006

An evaluation of the implementation of Georgia's pre-k program: Report of the findings from the Georgia Early Childhood Study (2002-03)
Henry, Gary T.; Ponder, Bentley D.; Rickman, Dana K.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Henderson, Laura W.; Gordon, Craig S.;

An assessment of the extent to which differences in implementation of Georgia full day, publicly subsidized Pre-K affects the development of enrolled four-year-olds

Reports & Papers

2004

Effects of a family literacy program on low-literate children and their parents: Findings from an evaluation of the Even Start family literacy program
St. Pierre, Robert G.; Ricciuti, Anne; Rimdzius, Tracy;

An analysis of findings from a U.S. Department of Education evaluation of the Even Start program

Reports & Papers

2005

Developing pre-literacy skills via shared book reading: Assessment of a family intervention program for pre-school children at risk of becoming reading disabled
Fielding-Barnsley, Ruth; Purdey, Nola;

A study investigating the effects of a low-cost family intervention program aimed at Australian preschool children at risk for reading failure

Reports & Papers

2002

Learning to read in a non-native language: The relationship between English oral-language and early literacy skills of kindergarten children in Singapore
Dixon, L. Quentin

An examination of the relationship between English oral-language and early literacy skills of a random sample of 297 children in Singapore, stratified by ethnicity, attending a local kindergarten for 5 year olds

Reports & Papers

2004

Two-way and monolingual immersion in preschool education: An experimental comparison
Barnett, W. Steven; Yarosz, Donald J.; Thomas, Jessica; Blanco, Dulce;

An experimental study comparing the numeracy, language and literacy proficiency impacts of dual language and monolingual English immersion preschool programs on children

Reports & Papers

2006

Parenting and child care as predictors of language, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes in young, low-income children
Nelson, Dana C.

An examination of parenting behavior and child care type and quality as predictors of cognitive, language, and behavioral development in low-income toddlers and preschool-aged children, based on data from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project

Reports & Papers

2005

Learning in preschool children: Child care quality and social knowledge
Knoche, Lisa;

The primary objective of this study is to understand the relationship between child care quality in preschool classrooms, child social knowledge and child social competence, and child learning. The hypotheses that observed quality as measured by the ECERS-R predicts both child level of engagement in his classroom (as measured by his level of social knowledge about that classroom) and social competence (as measured by the Adaptive Social Behavior Inventory prosocial and disruptive subscales); and that both social knowledge and competence predict positive child learning (as measured by child scores on the Story and Print Concept Task and Phonological Awareness Task) for individual children, were tested. One-hundred forty-seven children aged 36 to 70 months from 20 child care/ preschool classrooms, including Head Start and collaborative partner classrooms, participated in the study. The Classroom Model Task, as an indirect measure of engagement in the environment, was used to assess children's accurate perceptions of their social environments. Results indicate observed quality is related to social knowledge, that social knowledge relates to child learning on the Story and Print Concepts task, and that social knowledge and social competence are unique constructs. Understanding the influence of child care quality on child social knowledge, competence, and learning may help inform early childhood professionals, including teachers and administrators, about strategies to improve the overall success of children in their care. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2005

The Georgia Early Childhood Study: 2001-2004: Final report
Henry, Gary T.; Rickman, Dana K.; Ponder, Bentley D.; Henderson, Laura W.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Gordon, Craig S.;

A study evaluating the social, language, physical, and cognitive development of the state's children from preschool to first grade in Georgia between 2001 and 2004

Reports & Papers

2005

The effects of state prekindergarten programs on young children's school readiness in five states
Barnett, W. Steven; Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study on the effects of state-funded preschool programs on the school readiness of children from New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia

Reports & Papers

December, 2005

The effects of the Michigan School Readiness Program on young children's abilities at kindergarten entry
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study on the effects of the Michigan School Readiness Program on language, early literacy and early math skills in children entering kindergarten, part of a larger study on school readiness

Reports & Papers

2005

The effects of New Jersey's Abbott Preschool Program on young children's school readiness
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study on the effects of attending the New Jersey Abbott Preschool Program on language, early literacy and early math skills in children entering kindergarten, part of a larger study on school readiness

Reports & Papers

2005

The effects of Oklahoma's Early Childhood Four-Year-Old Program on young children's school readiness
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study on the effects of attending Oklahoma's Early Childhood Four-Year-Old Program on language, early literacy and early math skills in children entering kindergarten, part of a larger study on school readiness

Reports & Papers

2005

The effects of South Carolina's early childhood programs on young children's school readiness
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study on the effects of South Carolina’s early education programs on language, early literacy and early math skills in children entering kindergarten, part of a larger study on school readiness

Reports & Papers

2005

The effects of West Virginia's Early Education Program on young children's school readiness
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee;

A study of the impact of West Virginia's Early Education Program regarding entering kindergarten student's language, early literacy, and early math skills

Reports & Papers

2005

What is pre-kindergarten?: Characteristics of public pre-kindergarten programs
Clifford, Richard M.; Barbarin, Oscar; Chang, Florence; Early, Diane Marie; Bryant, Donna M.; Howes, Carollee; Burchinal, Margaret; Pianta, Robert C.;

A study of the demographics and staff and structural quality of publicly-funded prekindergarten programs across 6 states

Reports & Papers

2005

Pre-kindergarten in eleven states: NCEDL's Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten and study of State-Wide Early Education Programs (SWEEP): Preliminary descriptive report
Early, Diane Marie; Barbarin, Oscar; Bryant, Donna M.; Burchinal, Margaret; Chang, Florence; Clifford, Richard M.; Crawford, Gisele M.; Howes, Carollee; Ritchie, Sharon; Kraft-Sayre, Marcia E.; Pianta, Robert C.; Barnett, W. Steven; Weaver, Wanda;

An outline of key descriptive findings about the characteristics of prekindergarten children and their families, teachers and their classes, classroom quality, and academic assessments, from the Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten and the Study of State-Wide Early Education Programs (SWEEP)

Reports & Papers

24 May, 2005

Narrative development in bilingual kindergarteners: Can Arthur help?
Uchikoshi, Yuuko;

A study of the effect of watching the children’s TV program, Arthur, on the development of English narrative skills in a sample of 108 English-language learners (ELL) over their kindergarten year

Reports & Papers

2005

Comparing four literacy reform models in high-poverty schools: Patterns of first-grade achievement
Tivnan, Terrence; Hemphill, Lowry;

A quasi-experimental evaluation of low income, minority group first graders' literacy achievement and development after participating in one of four early literacy models: Building Essential Literacy, Developing Literacy First, Literacy Collaborative, Success for All

Reports & Papers

2005

Giant steps for the littlest children: Progress in the sixth year of the Abbott preschool program: Year three initial update, 2004-2005
Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Frede, Ellen; Seplocha, Holly; Strasser, Janis; Jambunathan, Saigeetha; Juncker, Jo Ann; Wolock, Ellen;

An annual report evaluating the quality of Abbott School District preschool classrooms in New Jersey and measuring Abbott preschoolers' academic performance

Other

2005

Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: 2004 annual report
Australian Institute of Family Studies;

An overview of findings from the first wave of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), a long term study examining how Australian society, economy, and culture impact the development of the country's children

Reports & Papers

2005

Cortisol reactivity is positively related to executive function in preschool children attending Head Start
Blair, Clancy; Granger, Douglas A.; Razza, Rachel Peters;

A study of the relationship between stress reactivity, as measured by changes in cortisol levels, and cognitive functioning and social behavior in low income preschool children

Reports & Papers

2005

Third national Even Start evaluation: Follow-up findings from the experimental design study
National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance;

A randomized controlled impact analysis of follow-up data collected from families that participated in the Experimental Design Study portion of the third national Even Start evaluation

Reports & Papers

2004

Science as the center of a coherent, integrated early childhood curriculum
French, Lucia;

A description of the ScienceStart! Curriculum proposing its use as an integrated model for early childhood education

Reports & Papers

2004

The Head Start National Reporting System: A critique
Meisels, Samuel J.; Atkins-Burnett, Sally;

An evaluation of the Head Start National Reporting System, an achievement test for Head Start children aged four and five years of age, designed to assess the program's effectiveness

Reports & Papers

2004

A model of home learning environment and social risk factors in relation to children's emergent literacy and social outcomes
Foster, Martha A.; Abbott-Shim, Martha; McCarty, Frances; Franze, Sarah;

An examination of the relationship between home environment and social risk factors and children's early literacy and social functioning

Reports & Papers

2005

Interim report for Quality Research Consortium Data Coordination Center cross-sectional analyses
United States. Administration for Children and Families. Child Outcomes Research and Evaluation;

A description of the interventions and study designs being implemented at the eight Head Start Quality Research Centers (HSQRCs)

Reports & Papers

2004

Is an intervention program necessary in order to improve economically disadvantaged children's IQ scores?
Zigler, Edward F.; Abelson, Willa D.; Trickett, Penelope K.; Seitz, Victoria;

A study examining motivational and formal cognitive determinants in IQ testing of Head Start children

Reports & Papers

1982

Report of the findings from the Early Childhood Study: 2001-02
Henry, Gary T.; Henderson, Laura W.; Ponder, Bentley D.; Gordon, Craig S.; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Rickman, Dana K.;

A study of the development of young children attending private and state-funded preschool programs under Georgia's prekindergarten initiative

Reports & Papers

2003

Child care quality: Centers and home settings that serve poor families
Fuller, Bruce; Kagan, Sharon Lynn; Loeb, Susanna; Chang, Yueh-Wen;

A multi-site, longitudinal study examining the quality of child care settings chosen by low-income mothers enrolled in welfare-to-work programs

Reports & Papers

2004

Managing the mismatch: Enhancing early literacy progress for children with diverse language and cultural identities in mainstream urban schools in New Zealand
Phillips, Gwenneth; MacNaughton, Stuart; Macdonald, Shelley;

A New Zealand study examining the efficacy of a professional development intervention designed to improve the literacy skills of Maori and Pacific Island children by restructuring the beliefs and practices of their instructors

Reports & Papers

2004

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test
Dunn, Lloyd M.;

Instruments

1965

Early Head Start: Identifying and serving children with disabilities
Peterson, Carla A.; Wall, Shavaun; Raikes, Helen; Kisker, Ellen Eliason; Swanson, Mark; Jerald, Judith; Atwater, Jane; Qiao, Wei;

A longitudinal study of the number of Early Head Start children with developmental delays examined characteristics of low income families who received supportive services as compared to families who did not

Reports & Papers

2004

Head Start FACES 2000: A whole-child perspective on program performance
Zill, Nicholas; Resnick, Gary; Kim, Kwang; O'Donnell, Kevin; Sorongon, Alberto; McKey, Ruth Hubbell; Pai-Samant, Shefali; Clark, Cheryl; O'Brien, Robert W.; D'Elio, Mary Ann;

A longitudinal study of the academic and social outcomes of Head Start children during the Head Start years and in kindergarten, based on data from the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES)

Reports & Papers

May, 2003

An examination of the contributions of interactive peer play to salient classroom competencies for urban Head Start children
Fantuzzo, John W.; Sekino, Yumiko; Rouse, Heather L. Cohen;

A journal article on the relationship of urban Head Start children's peer play competence to emotional regulation, autonomy, receptive language skill, and later cognitive, social, and motor outcomes

Reports & Papers

2004

Third national Even Start evaluation: Program impacts and implications for improvement
United States. Department of Education. Planning and Evaluation Service;

Findings from the third national evaluation of the federal Even Start family literacy program, including a description of the program and its participants, and a discussion of program impacts based on data from an experimental study of Even Start's effectiveness in 18 projects

Reports & Papers

2003

Child care in poor communities: Early learning effects of type, quality, and stability
Loeb, Susanna; Fuller, Bruce; Kagan, Sharon Lynn; Carrol, Bidemi;

A longitudinal analysis of the effects of child care type, quality, and stability on the social and cognitive development of preschool children of low-income single mothers

Reports & Papers

2004

Word exposure conditions and preschoolers' novel word learning during shared storybook reading
Justice, Laura M.;

A study of the influence of various word exposure conditions on children's receptive and expressive learning of novel words during shared storybook reading interactions

Reports & Papers

2002

The comprehensive language approach to early literacy: The interrelationships among vocabulary, phonological sensitivity, and print knowledge among preschool-aged children
Dickinson, David K.; McCabe, Allyssa; Anastasopoulos, Louisa; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Poe, Michele;

An evaluation of Head Start preschool children's vocabularies, phonological sensitivities, and print knowledge to examine the relationship between oral language and developing literacy

Reports & Papers

2003

Child care in poor communities: Early learning effects of type, quality, and stability
Loeb, Susanna; Fuller, Bruce; Kagan, Sharon Lynn; Carrol, Bidemi; Carroll, Jude; McCarthy, Jan;

A study on the influence of child care type, quality, and stability on the social and cognitive development of the preschool children of low-income single mothers

Reports & Papers

2003

Fragile lives, shattered dreams: A report of implementation of preschool education in New Jersey's Abbott districts
Barnett, W. Steven; Tarr, Julie E.; Lamy, Cynthia Esposito; Frede, Ellen;

A critical account of the implementation of the Abbott preschool program in New Jersey, based on compliance and achievement data from the state’s 30 Abbott districts

Reports & Papers

2001

Outcomes of an enhanced literacy curriculum on the literacy skills of Head Start preschoolers
Pietrangelo, Debra Jean

A survey of a twelve week supplementary classroom literacy program on the emergent literacy skills of Head Start children

Reports & Papers

1994

Use of storybook reading to increase print awareness in at-risk children
Justice, Laura M.; Ezell, Helen K.;

An article on the effects of an book-reading intervention on Head Start children's print awareness

Reports & Papers

2002

Beyond the pages of a book: Interactive book reading and language development in preschool classrooms
Wasik, Barbara H.; Bond, Mary Alice;

An article on the effects of an interactive reading intervention on the language skills of preschool children.

Reports & Papers

2001

A six-county study of the effects of Smart Start child care on kindergarten entry skills
Maxwell, Kelly; Bryant, Donna M.; Miller-Johnson, Shari;

A study measuring the Smart Start program's effectiveness in six North Carolina counties by comparing the school readiness of Smart Start children entering kindergarten to the readiness of children from other programs

Reports & Papers

1999

Smart Start and preschool child care quality in NC: Change over time and relation to children's readiness
Bryant, Donna M.; Maxwell, Kelly; Taylor, Karen; Poe, Michele; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Bernier, Kathleen;

An observational study of the Smart Start preschool program at 110 early education centers between 1994 and 1999 in North Carolina

Reports & Papers

2003

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Rev. ed.)
Dunn, Lloyd M.; Dunn, Leota M.;

Instruments

1981

Building futures: The Head Start impact study: Research design plan
Puma, Michael; Bell, Stephen; Shapiro, Gary; Broene, Pam; Cook, Ronna; Friedman, Janet; Heid, Camilla;

This report provides an overview of the research design and methodology used in the Head Start Impact Study. It outlines the planned steps for sample selection, field testing, site recruitment, and the random assignment of children. Data collection strategies, measures, and analysis plans are also presented.

Other

31 March, 2001

Growing Up in Poverty Project 
Fuller, Bruce;

A longitudinal study of the effects of mothers moving from welfare-to-work on their economic well-being, home environment, child care quality and use, and their young children's early development

Major Research Projects

The Cost, Quality and Child Outcomes in Child Care Centers Study
Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.;

A longitudinal study of the relationships between children's experiences in center-based care and school and their social, emotional and cognitive outcomes

Major Research Projects

Factors associated with early school readiness profiles for Black girls
Iruka, Iheoma U.; Curenton, Stephanie M.; Sims, Jacqueline; Blitch, Kimberly; Gardner, Shari L.

This study used pre-academic and socioemotional data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth (ECLS-B) Cohort to examine the profiles of Black girls' school readiness skills from preschool through kindergarten. In addition to examining profiles that emerged, analyses were conducted to determine whether family socio-economic status (SES), parenting, parental functioning, community social support, neighborhood quality, and early education experiences predicted the likelihood of being in a particular profile. Three profiles emerged: (1) Consistent Learner, (2) Struggling Learner, and (3) Excelling Learner. There was heterogeneity within these prekindergarten-to-kindergarten learning profiles; however, a relatively large group showed low achievement and aggression during these early years. Family demographics, parenting, parental functioning, and early education experiences predicted likelihood of being in a particular profile. Implications of how to support Black girls' learning and adjustment from preschool through kindergarten are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q2 2020

Relating preschool class size to classroom quality and student achievement
Francis, Jessica; Barnett, W. Steven;

This paper examines the effects of preschool class size on classroom quality and student achievement by drawing upon data from 21 teachers and 354 children that were collected during the 2008–2009 school year. Regular class sizes contained 20 students and reduced class sizes contained 15 students. Either the AM or PM session was randomly assigned to be 15 students for each teacher, so that each teacher taught both a regular and reduced class size. Children who attended reduced size classrooms were found to partake in more one-to-one interactions with teachers than children in regular size classrooms, but there were no differences between groups in the quality of classroom interactions as measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS). Children in smaller classrooms also were found to gain more in literacy skills by the end of preschool. In contrast, there were no significant differences between groups in vocabulary or math gains. These results indicate that an assigned difference of five children in a preschool classroom can benefit children's cognitive development after just one school year. However, these benefits are not explained by differences in a commonly used measure of classroom quality, which were minimal. Future endeavors to reduce class size in preschool might be enhanced if coupled with professional development strategies that aim to maximize teachers' effectiveness with smaller classes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2019

ECE quality indicators and child outcomes: Analyses of six large child care studies
Soliday-Hong, Sandra; Sabol, Terri J.; Burchinal, Margaret; Tarullo, Louisa B.; Zaslow, Martha; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.;

Practice and policy in early childhood education rely heavily on professional expertise and guidelines developed from research on early care and education (ECE) quality, but these guidelines have not been extensively researched. Data from six large studies of ECE quality were analyzed to relate structural and process quality indicators based on professional guidelines to children's language, literacy, math, and social outcomes. Results indicated small gains related to some quality indicators (e.g., quality of teacher-child interactions, curriculum, and teacher and director education) for some of the preschoolers' outcomes, but not other indicators (e.g., global quality, group size). Combining quality indicators into a single index also predicted gains in preschoolers' language and literacy scores, but effect sizes for the quality rating were smaller than for individual indicators. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2019

Associations between preschool language and first grade reading outcomes in bilingual children
Davison, Megan Dunn; Hammer, Carol Scheffner; Lawrence, Frank R.;

It is well established that monolingual preschoolers' oral language development (vocabulary and oral comprehension) contributes to their later reading abilities; however, less is known about this relationship in bilingual populations where children are developing knowledge of two languages. It may be that children's abilities in one language do not contribute to their reading abilities in their other language or that children's experiences with either language assist them in developing a common underlying proficiency that they draw upon when learning to read. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among bilingual children's receptive language development and reading outcomes in first grade. Eighty-one bilingual children who were attending Head Start participated in the study. Growth curve models were used to examine the relationship between children's language abilities during two years in Head Start and reading outcomes at the end of first grade. Children's growth in both English and Spanish receptive vocabulary and oral comprehension predicted their English and Spanish reading abilities at the end of first grade within languages. Associations were also observed between languages with growth in English receptive language predicting Spanish reading comprehension and growth in Spanish receptive language predicting English reading comprehension. Learning outcomes: The reader will be able to (1) describe the common underlying proficiency model; (2) identify key factors of consideration when studying bilingual children; (3) understand the associations between preschool language abilities in English and Spanish and English and Spanish reading outcomes; and (4) identify ways in which future clinical practice may be impacted by the study's findings. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July/August 2011

Continuity and changes in classroom age composition and achievement in Head Start
Ansari, Arya; Purtell, Kelly M.;

Using data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 Cohort (n = 1073), this study considered the implications of mixed-age education for young children's academic achievement when they experienced continuity and/or changes in classroom age composition across two years in Head Start (at age 3 and age 4). Results from these analyses revealed that children in classrooms with a greater number of younger children during their second year in Head Start exhibited fewer gains in mathematics and language and literacy. Additionally, children who transitioned from being in classrooms with largely older classmates during year one to classrooms with largely same-age peers during year two exhibited greater gains in academics than children who experienced two years of mixed-age classrooms. Stability in children's teachers, one of the hallmarks of mixed-age programming, was not associated with children's academic achievement nor did it attenuate the negative consequences of mixed-age classrooms. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July-September 2018

Young minority children's gains in early math, literacy, and behavior skills: Associations with teacher instruction, parent learning support, and parent involvement
Ansari, Arya

There has been growing interest among parents, teachers, researchers, and policymakers in better understanding children's school readiness and the precise mechanisms by which early care and education programs promote these early skills. Two key, but understudied, mechanisms include preschool instruction and parenting practices. The present study used the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES) 2006 cohort and examined whether gains in young children's (n = 2,308) math, literacy, and behavior problems over the Head Start year were predicted by increased stimulation across children's homes and school using structural equation modeling. Net of all other factors, parent learning support was uniquely associated with lower levels of behavioral problems and greater math achievement. Although there were no direct effects of parent involvement on child outcomes, the effects of parent involvement on children's math and behavior were mediated through parent learning support. Children also demonstrated reduced problem behaviors when they received greater teacher instruction. However, the observed benefits for math achievement and reduced problem behaviors appear to be stronger when young children receive stimulation across both the home and school contexts. These findings have implications for children's early problem behaviors and achievement, suggesting that parenting practices and teacher instruction are important avenues that can promote young children's early skills. For optimal academic and behavioral outcomes, however, greater effort needs to be coordinated across children's home and school settings. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2013

Parent teaching, cumulative instability and school readiness for children attending Head Start preschool
Kriebel, Dawn K.; Brown, Eleanor D.;

This study investigated relations between parent teaching, cumulative instability/chaos and school readiness in a group of 130 children attending a Head Start preschool. Cumulative instability/chaos negatively predicted fall school readiness as well as spring school readiness. Parent teaching did not predict fall school readiness but did predict spring school readiness. Fall school readiness predicted spring school readiness, suggesting the possibility that this variable helped to carry the effect of cumulative instability/chaos, as measured in the fall of the preschool year, to spring school readiness. Fall school readiness mediated the relationship between fall cumulative instability and spring school readiness. Implications for intervention efforts are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2019

Double down or switch it up: Should low-income children stay in Head Start for 2 years or switch programs?
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Sabol, Terri J.; Farkas, George;

Background: Recent growth in subsidized preschool opportunities in the United States for low-income 4-year-old children has allowed federal Head Start programs to fund more slots for 3-year-old children. In turn, when Age-3 Head Start participants turn four, they may choose to switch into one of the many alternative care options or choose to stay in Head Start for a second year. Objectives: We analyze a nationally representative sample of Age-3 Head Start participants to examine whether children who stay in Head Start for a second year at Age 4 exhibit greater school readiness and subsequent cognitive and behavioral performance compared with children who switch out of Head Start into alternative care. We also examine differences between children who stay at the same Head Start center at Age 4 with those who switch to a different Head Start center. Research Design: Child fixed effects analyses coupled with inverse probability of treatment weights to remove observable, time-invariant differences between Head Start stayers and switchers. Subjects: Cohort of Age-3 Head Start attendees from the Head Start Impact Study. Measures: Child cognitive and behavioral skills assessed by trained administrators annually at ages 3-7. Results: Age-3 Head Start participants' outcomes do not differ at the end of preschool, kindergarten, or first grade based on their choice of Age-4 program. Staying at the same Head Start center for 2 years may be beneficial for behavioral skills. Conclusions: For low-income families, there exist many equally beneficial options to support their children's school readiness through public preschool programs. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2018

Mother-child play at 36 months and mother-child narratives at pre-kindergarten: Relations to children's school readiness
Cristofaro, Tonia;

This longitudinal investigation of relations between maternal language and responsiveness, children's narrative competencies, and school readiness aimed to shed light on how mothers from low-income families support their children's emerging language and narrative abilities and preparedness for school during preschool, a time characterized by children's increased grammar acquisition and metacognitive abilities (Bloom, 1998). Parental support of children's language competencies and school readiness may help buffer certain risks on learning that are associated with growing up in poverty. Specifically, the following questions were addressed: 1) What is the nature of Pre-Kindergarten children's abilities, in terms of a) their narrative performance as measured by the use of narrative elements and b) scores on standardized tests of school readiness? 2) How do mothers' and children's use of narrative elements and maternal responsiveness concurrently support children's narrative performance and school readiness at Pre-Kindergarten? and 3) Do mothers' and children's earlier language (including child PPVT) during play as well as maternal responsiveness at 36 months predict children's narratives and school readiness at Pre-Kindergarten? (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2007

Early intervention for child conduct problems in Head Start families
Querido, Jane Gumiran;

The goals of the present study were to screen for behavior problems in preschool children enrolled in Head Start and to examine the feasibility of Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) in a randomized, controlled trial of Head Start families of children at risk for the development of later antisocial behavior. Six hundred ninety-six children, ages 3 through 5, were screened for conduct problems. Results showed that on average, children were within the nonclinical range of conduct problem behaviors, with 15% of the children scoring within the clinical range on frequency of conduct problems. Twenty-six families of children who scored within the clinical range were randomized to receive either standard Head Start care or standard care plus PCIT. Results of our study showed that in families who received PCIT plus standard Head Start care, compared to families who received standard care only, parents effectively changed their interactional style with their children, and as a consequence, children's behavior changed dramatically from outside normal limits to within normal limits. Normative data for Head Start families on several measures collected during the pretreatment screening were reported to provide a relevant source of reference for examining PCIT outcome in this population. This study demonstrated the feasibility of PCIT for treating child behavior problems in Head Start families and its potential for buffering some of the adverse effects of poverty by developing parents' confidence in their parenting. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2003

Fighting bias with statistics: Detecting gender differences in responses to items on a preschool science assessment
Greenberg, Ariela;

Differential item functioning (DIF) and differential distractor functioning (DDF) are methods used to screen for item bias (Camilli & Shepard, 1994; Penfield, 2008). Using an applied empirical example, this mixed-methods study examined the congruency and relationship of DIF and DDF methods in screening multiple-choice items. Data for Study I were drawn from item responses of 271 female and 236 male low-income children on a preschool science assessment. Item analyses employed a common statistical approach of the Mantel-Haenszel log-odds ratio (MH-LOR) to detect DIF in dichotomously scored items (Holland & Thayer, 1988), and extended the approach to identify DDF (Penfield, 2008). Findings demonstrated that the using MH-LOR to detect DIF and DDF supported the theoretical relationship that the magnitude and form of DIF and are dependent on the DDF effects, and demonstrated the advantages of studying DIF and DDF in multiple-choice items. A total of 4 items with DIF and DDF and 5 items with only DDF were detected. Study II incorporated an item content review, an important but often overlooked and under-published step of DIF and DDF studies (Camilli & Shepard). Interviews with 25 female and 22 male low-income preschool children and an expert review helped to interpret the DIF and DDF results and their comparison, and determined that a content review process of studied items can reveal reasons for potential item bias that are often congruent with the statistical results. Patterns emerged and are discussed in detail. The quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted in an applied framework of examining the validity of the preschool science assessment scores for evaluating science programs serving low-income children, however, the techniques can be generalized for use with measures across various disciplines of research. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2010

Executive functions and approaches to learning: Relationships to school readiness in Head Start preschoolers
Vitiello, Virginia E.;

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the effects of executive functions on school readiness outcomes were mediated by approaches to learning in Head Start preschoolers. Executive functions are cognitive skills, including inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory, that are involved in learning as well as regulating behavior (Blair, Granger, & Razza, 2005; Espy, McDiarmid, Cwik, Stalets, Hamby, & Senn, 2004). Approaches to learning include important learning-to-learn skills such as persistence, initiative, and motivation (Fantuzzo, Perry, & McDermott, 2004). Based on previous literature, it was hypothesized that strong executive functions would support the development of positive approaches to learning, which in turn would lead to increased school readiness. To test this, data were collected on 179 four-year-old Head Start preschoolers. Children were assessed on executive functions (cognitive inhibition, cognitive flexibility, and working memory), approaches to learning (using both a teacher rating scale and a direct observation), school readiness, and verbal ability. Results indicated that approaches to learning partially mediated the relationship between executive functions and school readiness, providing support for the study's main hypothesis. Results are discussed in the context of preparing at-risk preschool children for success in school. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2009

Environmental and developmental indicators in early childhood: Relations to second-grade reading comprehension
Cook, Gina A.;

Reading success has been linked to high school completion, future job success, and future generations of children who can read. Unfortunately, children who are unable to read on grade level by the end of first grade are at a great disadvantage and unlikely to catch up later. Without the ability to read and comprehend text, all aspects of schooling become progressively more difficult and the challenge of poor reading ability can be so difficult to overcome that many poor readers will not complete high school. For these reasons, it is important to identify early experiences in a child's family environment that predict the early skills that are necessary for later reading and reading comprehension. The child's family environment includes the quality of both the general home setting and specific kinds of parent-child interactions. The skills necessary for reading success include vocabulary, phonological skills, and other early literacy skills, but broader cognitive and regulatory skills may also be necessary. Because children from low-income families are at higher risk for reading problems, this study examines extant data on early environments, early development, and second-grade reading from a sample of 117 children from low-income families who participated in a longitudinal study from the child's infancy to second grade. Early family environments and children's early cognitive and other skills that are measured at 36 months and just prior to kindergarten entry at 54 months, were analyzed in relation to their second-grade vocabulary, reading ability, and reading comprehension. The results of this analysis of extant longitudinal data help identify early predictors of reading success for children at risk for reading problems. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2010

Behavioral problems of Head Start children with language delays
Huaqing Qi, Cathy;

The purpose of this study was to examine (a) the social/behavioral characteristics of preschool children observed in Head Start classrooms, (b) the correlates between this observation and teacher reports, and (c) the relationship between language delays and problem behaviors in these children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

December, 2001

Language and theory of mind development in the context of a Head Start theatre-in-education program
Mages, Wendy K.;

This dissertation reports a series of investigations of the language and cognitive development of 155 preschool children enrolled in 12 Head Start sites in New York City. These investigations were carried out in the context of a quasi-experimental study on the impact of a theatre-in-education curriculum on children's language, theory of mind (ToM), and imaginative development. Children were assessed at two time points and showed significant improvement on all measures. The theatre-in-education program was well run and the intervention was faithfully implemented, yet no significant differences between the intervention group and comparison group were detected. At Time 1, children who spoke only English at home outperformed their English-language-learning peers on measures of vocabulary and narrative development. By Time 2 the English-language learners closed the gap; there were no differences in narrative development related to home language. The relation between children's ToM and narrative development was explored at two time points. Controlling for other variables, children's narrative abilities were significantly related to their concurrent ToM skills. Furthermore, children's Time 1 ToM proficiency predicted their later narrative abilities, and children's earlier narrative skills predicted their later ToM understanding, although this relation was influenced by receptive vocabulary. The validity and reliability of a new measure of children's aural narrative comprehension, the Mages Measure of Story Comprehension (MMSC), was also investigated. This measure assesses children's understanding of a story without requiring oral language production. MMSC scores at both Time 1 and Time 2 were moderately correlated with receptive vocabulary and productive narrative. Children showed substantial improvement from Time 1 to Time 2, and test-retest stability was moderate. This measure appears to be promising for future research on children's aural narrative comprehension. An ethnographic study was conducted of the Creative Arts Team's Early Learning Through the Arts: New York City Wolf Trap Program, the theatre-in-education intervention being assessed. A detailed description of the drama program, including the culture of the company, its directors and actor-teachers, its pedagogy, and the content and context of the Head Start drama intervention is presented to highlight the challenges of designing, implementing, and managing this type of educational drama intervention. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2008

Are parents' ratings and satisfaction with preschools related to program features?
Bassok, Daphna; Markowitz, Anna J.; Player, Daniel; Zagardo, Michelle;

This study examines whether parents' overall satisfaction with their child's early childhood education (ECE) program is correlated with a broad set of program characteristics, including (a) observational assessments of teacher-child interactions; (b) structural features of the program, such as teacher education and class size; (c) practical and convenience factors (e.g., hours, cost); and (d) a measure of average classroom learning gains. It then describes associations between parents' evaluation of specific program characteristics and externally collected measures of those features. Leveraging rich data from a sample of low-income parents whose 4-year-olds attend publicly funded ECE programs, we find little correspondence between parents' evaluations of program characteristics and any external measures of those same characteristics. We discuss policy implications, especially in light of recent federal and state informational initiatives, which aim to help families make informed ECE choices. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January-March 2018

New findings on impact variation from the Head Start Impact Study: Informing the scale-up of early childhood programs
Morris, Pamela A.; Connors, Maia C.; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; McCoy, Dana Charles; Weiland, Christina; Feller, Avi; Page, Lindsay C.; Bloom, Howard S.; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu

This article synthesizes findings from a reanalysis of data from the Head Start Impact Study with a focus on impact variation. This study addressed whether the size of Head Start's impacts on children's access to center-based and high-quality care and their school readiness skills varied by child characteristics, geographic location, and the experiences of children in the control group. Across multiple sets of analyses based on new, innovative statistical methods, findings suggest that the topline Head Start Impact Study results of Head Start's average impacts mask substantial variation in its effectiveness and that one key source of that variation was in the counterfactual experiences and the context of Head Start sites (as well as the more typically examined child characteristics; e.g., children's dual language learner status). Implications are discussed for the future of Head Start and further research, as well as the scale-up of other early childhood programs, policies, and practices. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April-June 2018

Initial assessment versus gradual change in early childhood behavior problems--Which better foretells the future?
McDermott, Paul A.; Rovine, Michael J.; Buek, Katharine; Reyes, Roland; Chao, Jessica L.; Watkins, Marley W.

Leading research argues the distinct importance of earliest detection of childhood behavior problems and the value of discovering subsequent change patterns as children transition through the early education years. This study examined the relative contributions of earliest assessments of children's problem behaviors as compared to the changes in those behaviors over time for the prediction of important later outcomes. Focusing on the representative national sample from the Head Start Impact Study (n = 3,827), classroom behavior problems were assessed across 4 years spanning prekindergarten through first grade. Individual child indices were derived in multilevel growth modeling to reflect initial assessments and subsequent change patterns. These indices were thereafter applied in multilevel logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curve analyses to predict later academic and social difficulties. Both children's initial assessments and their transitional changes proved to be good predictors of most outcomes, where the accuracy for initial assessments and transitional changes was effectively equivocal. The evidence clarifies that initial assessment of behavior problems is sufficient to predict later outcomes; additional assessments did not augment forecasting accuracy nor did the combination of both initial assessment and information about subsequent change improve accuracy. Implications are discussed for assessment theory and practice. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2018

Are content-specific curricula differentially effective in Head Start or state prekindergarten classrooms?
Nguyen, Tutrang; Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Whitaker, Anamarie

Head Start and state prekindergarten (pre-K) programs can boost the school readiness of low-income children through the use of effective preschool curricula. Encouraging results from some studies suggest that children who receive targeted or content-specific curricular supplements (e.g., literacy or math) during preschool show moderate to large improvements in that targeted content domain, but recent research also suggests differences in children's school readiness among different preschool program settings. We examine whether children in Head Start or public pre-K classrooms differentially benefit from the use of randomly assigned classroom curricula targeting specific academic domains. Our results indicate that children in both Head Start and public pre-K classrooms benefit from targeted, content-specific curricula. Future research is needed to examine the specific mechanisms and classroom processes through which curricula help improve children's outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April-June 2018

Effects of an early childhood educator coaching intervention on preschoolers: The role of classroom age composition
Ansari, Arya; Pianta, Robert C.;

Heterogeneity in treatment effects of MyTeachingPartner (MTP), a professional development coaching intervention focused on improving teacher-student interactions, was examined for 1407 4-year-old preschoolers who were enrolled in classrooms that served children between the ages of 3 and 5. On average, there were no consistent impacts of MTP coaching on children's school performance, but there was evidence of moderation in treatment effects as a function of classroom age diversity, defined as the proportion of children who were not 4 years of age. MTP coaching improved children's expressive vocabulary, literacy skills, and inhibitory control in classrooms that served primarily 4-year-olds and were less age diverse. These effects were in large part due to MTP causing improvements in teachers' instructional support that in turn was more predictive of children's skills in less age-diverse classrooms. Results also indicated that the nature of age diversity did not matter; a greater number of 3- or 5-year-old classmates equally reduced the benefits of the MTP intervention for 4-year-olds. The sole exception occurred for receptive vocabulary, in which case, MTP was most effective in classrooms with a larger number of older (but not younger) children. Taken together, these results suggest that under the right circumstances, the benefits of professional development that improve early childhood educators' teaching practices can also translate into benefits for students. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2018

Using early indicators of academic risk to predict academic skills and socioemotional functioning at age 10
Jeon, Hyun-Joo; Wall, Shavaun; Peterson, Carla A.; Luze, Gayle J.; Swanson, Mark

Early indicators of academic risk were used to predict the academic skills, socioemotional functioning, and receipt of special education services at age 10 among children from low-income families who participated in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project. Pairwise comparison of academic skills and socioemotional functioning among early academic risk indicator groups was used, and logistic regression modeling was used to predict receipt of special education services. Children who received early intervention or early childhood special education services or were suspected of having developmental delays before age 3 or at age 5 scored lower on academic skills and poorer on socioemotional functioning at age 10 than those without academic risk indicators. Children who had only biological risks before age 3 or at age 5 did not differ in academic skills or socioemotional functioning at age 10 compared to children without any academic risk indicators. Generally, children's academic risk indicators identified later (at age 5) were stronger predictors of poor academic skills and socioemotional functioning at age 10 than were earlier academic risk indicators (before age 3). Only children who received early intervention services before age 3 or early childhood special education services at age 5 were more likely to receive special education services at age 10 than other groups. Early universal screening, monitoring, and continuous provision of appropriate services for children from low-income families and with academic risks are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2018

Boosting school readiness: Should preschool teachers target skills or the whole child?
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Duncan, Greg J.; Auger, Anamarie; Bitler, Marianne; Domina, Thurston; Burchinal, Margaret;

We use experimental data to estimate impacts on school readiness of different kinds of preschool curricula -- a largely neglected preschool input and measure of preschool quality. We find that the widely-used "whole-child" curricula found in most Head Start and pre-K classrooms produced higher classroom process quality than did locally-developed curricula, but failed to improve children's school readiness. A curriculum focused on building mathematics skills increased both classroom math activities and children's math achievement relative to the whole-child curricula. Similarly, curricula focused on literacy skills increased literacy achievement relative to whole-child curricula, despite failing to boost measured classroom process quality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2018

Routine active playtime with fathers is associated with self-regulation in early childhood
Bocknek, Erika London; Dayton, Carolyn; Raveau, Hasti A.; Richardson, Patricia; Brophy-Herb, Holly; Fitzgerald, Hiram;

In recent years, a literature has emerged describing contributions fathers make to the development of very young children. Scholars suggest that active play may be a specific area of parenting in which fathers are primary and, further, that this type of play helps children experience intense emotions and learn to regulate them. However, this hypothesis remains largely theoretical. The current study (N = 415) addresses this gap in fatherhood research by using a secondary analysis of data collected in the national Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSREP) Fathering Substudy (Boller et al., 2006; Love et al., 2005) to examine relations between fathers' active play (measured at children's 36-month birthday-related assessment) and developmental outcomes (cognitive-social and emotion regulation) at the entry to kindergarten. Findings demonstrate that regular active physical play between fathers and young children is associated with improved developmental outcomes. However, findings support a curvilinear relationship such that moderate amounts of active play are associated with better outcomes for children, but too little or too much active play is associated with worse outcomes, especially for children with more reactive temperamental qualities. Importantly, these findings are not replicated in relation to other types of parenting activities in which fathers engage, such as reading to children or engaging at mealtime, suggesting there is a special relationship between this type of play and children's development. Furthermore, findings demonstrate that children with high emotional reactivity may benefit the most from active playtime with their fathers. These results are discussed in the context of the influence of fathering processes on child and family outcomes in low-income families. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2017

Children and caregivers' exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACES): Association with children's and caregivers' psychological outcomes in a therapeutic preschool program
Ziv, Yair; Sofri, Inbar; Capps Umphlet, Kristen L.; Olarte, Stephanie; Venza, Jimmy;

Exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACE) has been found to have a profound negative impact on multiple child outcomes, including academic achievement, social cognition patterns, and behavioral adjustment. However, these links have yet to be examined in preschool children that are already experiencing behavior or social-emotional problems. Thus, the present study examined the links between the caregiver's and the child's exposure to ACE and multiple child and caregiver's outcomes in a sample of 30 preschool children enrolled in a Therapeutic Nursery Program (TNP). Children are typically referred to this TNP due to significant delays in their social emotional development that often result in difficulty functioning in typical childcare, home, and community settings. Analyses revealed some contradictory patterns that may be specific to this clinical sample. Children with higher exposure to ACE showed more biased social information processing patterns and their caregivers reported lower child social skills than caregivers of children with less exposure, however their inhibitory control levels were higher (better control) and staff reported that these children exhibited better social skills as well as better approaches to learning than children with less exposure. No such contradictions were found in relation to the caregiver's exposure to ACE, as it was positively associated with a number of negative child and caregiver outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April, 2018

State prekindergarten effects on early learning at kindergarten entry: An analysis of eight state programs
Barnett, W. Steven; Jung, Kwanghee; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Frede, Ellen; Nores, Milagros; Hustedt, Jason T.; Howes, Carollee; Daniel-Echols, Marijata

State-funded prekindergarten (preK) programs are increasingly common across the country. This study estimated the effects of eight state-funded preK programs (Arkansas, California, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and West Virginia) on children's learning using a regression discontinuity design. These programs vary with respect to the population served, program design, and context. Weighted average effect sizes from instrumental variables analyses across these states are 0.24 for language (vocabulary), 0.44 for math, and 1.10 for emergent literacy. Differences in effect sizes by domain suggest that preK programs should attend more to enhancing learning beyond simple literacy skills. State preK programs appear to differ in their effects. We offer recommendations for more rigorous, regular evaluation. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April-June 2018

The interactive animated e-book as a word learning device for kindergartners
Smeets, Daisy J.H.; Bus, Adriana G.;

Electronic picture storybooks often include motion pictures, sounds, and background music instead of static pictures, and hotspots that label/define words when clicked on. The current study was designed to examine whether these additional elements aid word learning and story comprehension and whether effects accumulate making the animated e-book that also includes hotspots the most promising device. A sample group of 136 4- and 5-year-old kindergarten children were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: static e-books, animated e-books, interactive animated e-books, and a control group. In experimental conditions, four on-screen stories were each presented four times during a 4-week intervention period. Children in the control condition played nonliteracy related computer games during the same time. In all conditions, children worked independently with the computer programs. Strong treatment effects were found on target vocabulary originating from the story. Pupils gained most in vocabulary after reading interactive animated e-books, followed by (noninteractive) animated e-books and then static e-books. E-books including animations and interactivity were neither beneficial nor detrimental for story comprehension. Findings suggest that electronic storybooks are valuable additions in support of the classroom curriculum with interactive animated e-books being the best alternative. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2015

Long-term effects of a system of high-quality universal preschool education in the United States
Barnett, W. Steven; Frede, Ellen;

A large body of evidence suggests that public provision of quality preschool education can be an effective way to enhance the lives of children in disadvantaged families and to decrease inequality in educational, economic, and social outcomes (for an overview, see Yoshikawa et al. 2013). However, there are few well-documented examples of large-scale successes along with some well-known failures (Barnett 2011a). We maintain that most public programs fail to invest sufficiently in the necessary quality and intensity to reproduce either the experiences or outcomes of successful models. We describe and analyze the outcomes of New Jersey's Abbott preschool system as a counterexample for the consequences of a sufficient investment. In doing so, we clarify the nature of the public investment required if preschool is to have a substantial effect on inequality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2017

Preschool attendance and school readiness for children of immigrant mothers in the United States
Lee, RaeHyuck; Han, Wen-Jui; Waldfogel, Jane; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne;

We examined the associations between preschool attendance and academic school readiness at kindergarten entry among 5-year-old children of immigrant mothers in the United States using data from a US nationally representative sample (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Birth Cohort, N = 1650). Comparing children who were in preschool (Head Start, prekindergarten, or other center-based preschool) to children being cared for exclusively at home, analyses using both ordinary least squares regressions with rich controls and with propensity score weighting consistently showed that attending preschool was associated with higher reading and math skills. Analyses focused on specific type of preschool revealed that children attending prekindergarten (but not Head Start and other center-based preschool) had higher reading and math skills than those in parental care. Analyses focused on hours of preschool attendance indicated that children's reading skills benefited from attending more than 20 hours per week of Head Start or prekindergarten. Attending preschool, especially for full days, increases the school readiness of children of immigrants. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

June, 2018

Do high quality kindergarten and first grade classrooms mitigate preschool fadeout?
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Watts, Tyler W.; Magnuson, Katherine A.; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Duncan, Greg J.

Prior research shows that short-term effects from preschool may disappear, but little research has considered which environmental conditions might sustain academic advantages from preschool into elementary school. Using secondary data from two preschool experiments, we investigate whether features of elementary schools, particularly advanced content and high-quality instruction in kindergarten and first grade, as well as professional supports to coordinate curricular instruction, reduce fadeout. Across both studies, our measures of instruction did not moderate fadeout. However, results indicated that targeted teacher professional supports substantially mitigated fadeout between kindergarten and first grade but that this was not mediated through classroom quality. Future research should investigate the specific mechanisms through which aligned preschool-elementary school curricular approaches can sustain the benefits of preschool programs for low-income children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July-September 2018

Will public pre-K really close achievement gaps?: Gaps in prekindergarten quality between students and across states
Valentino, Rachel A.;

Publicly funded pre-K is often touted as a means to narrow achievement gaps, but this goal is less likely to be achieved if poor and/or minority children do not, at a minimum, attend equal quality pre-K as their non-poor, non-minority peers. In this paper, I find large "‘quality gaps"’ in public pre-K between poor, minority students and non-poor, non-minority students, ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 SD on a range of classroom observational measures. I also find that even after adjusting for several classroom characteristics, significant and sizable quality gaps remain. Finally, I find much between-state variation in gap magnitudes and that state-level quality gaps are related to state-level residential segregation. These findings are particularly troubling if a goal of public pre-K is to minimize inequality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

February, 2018

Classroom age composition and preschoolers' school readiness: The implications of classroom quality and teacher qualifications
Purtell, Kelly M.; Ansari, Arya;

Recent research has shown that the age composition of preschool classrooms influences children's early learning. Building on prior research, this study examines whether the association between classroom age composition and children's learning and development vary based on classroom quality and teacher characteristics using a subset of the Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a nationally representative sample of 3- and 4-year-old children attending Head Start (n = 2,829). Results revealed that the association between age composition and children's academic skills was dependent on classroom quality and that classroom quality was less predictive of children's skills in mixed-age classrooms. Teacher education but not experience also moderated the influence of age composition such that mixed-age classrooms taught by a teacher with higher education were not associated with decreased literacy gains among older children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January-March 2018

School absenteeism through the transition to kindergarten
Ansari, Arya; Purtell, Kelly M.;

Using nationally representative data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 Cohort (n = 2,798), this study examined patterns of absenteeism and their consequences through the transition to kindergarten. Overall, children were less likely to be absent in kindergarten than from Head Start at ages 3 and 4. Absenteeism was fairly stable across these early years, but children who experienced two years of Head Start were less likely to be absent in kindergarten than their classmates who only attended the program for one year. Ultimately, absenteeism at both ages 3 and 4 was associated with lower math and literacy achievement. However, children who experienced two years of Head Start and were more frequently absent demonstrated greater language development through the end of kindergarten as compared with children who only attended the program for one year. Policy implications are discussed in light of the complexity of early childhood education attendance in the United States. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2018

Linguistic environment of preschool classrooms: What dimensions support children's language growth?
Justice, Laura M.; Jiang, Hui; Strasser, Katherine;

Individual differences in young children's language acquisition reflect in part the variability in the language-learning environment that they experience, both at home and in the classroom. Studies have examined various dimensions of the preschool classroom language environment, including linguistic responsivity of early childhood educators, data-providing features of teachers' talk, and characteristics of the systems-level general environment, but no study has examined the unique contribution of each dimension to children's language growth over time. The goals of this study were to determine how best to represent the dimensionality of the preschool classroom's linguistic environment and to determine which dimensions are most strongly associated with children's language development. Participants were teachers in 49 preschool classrooms and a random sample of children from each classroom (330 children between 40 and 60 months of age, [mean] = 52 months, SD= 5.5). Children's grammar and vocabulary skills were measured at three time-points, and the classroom linguistic environment was assessed with measures representing teachers' linguistic responsivity, data-providing features of teachers' talk, and systems-level general quality. Using exploratory structural equation modeling (ESEM), we determined that the classroom language environment is best characterized by a three-dimensional model. A multilevel latent growth model subsequently showed that only one of the three dimensions, teachers' communication-facilitating behaviors, predicted growth in children's vocabulary from preschool to kindergarten. Implications for teacher professional development are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q1 2018

Distinctions without a difference?: Preschool curricula and children's development
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Auger, Anamarie; Nguyen, Tutrang; Yu, Winnie;

Public preschool programs often require the use of a research-based curriculum, yet limited research examines whether curricular decisions influence classroom processes and children's school readiness. This study uses three large samples of preschool children to examine differences in classroom quality and activities, in children's school readiness by curricular status (packaged curriculum vs. not), and across curricular packages. There were no significant differences in children's outcomes between classrooms that do and do not use a curriculum. Some significant differences existed in classroom activities across classrooms using different curricular packages; however, there exists substantial variability across classrooms implementing the same curricular package. Overall we find very little differences between preschool curricular packages for children's school readiness or classroom practices. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2016

The influence of English proficiency on social adjustment in preschool English language learners
Long, Yanjie

Social-emotional adjustment in early childhood has been associated with later social development and academic achievement. Language proficiency is a central tool for building social relationships and managing emotions. Limited English proficiency in early childhood may pose challenges for children's social-emotional development. This study used secondary data from the Head Start Impact Study to examine the influence of English proficiency on ELL children's internalizing and externalizing behaviors during preschool. In addition, this study examined the roles of parent involvement and teacher-child relationships in predicting ELL children's social-emotional adjustment. 295 ELLs and 935 non-ELLs were selected to analyze for this study. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2017

A comparison of social interactions between preschool students from Spanish speaking homes and preschool students from English speaking homes
Luchtel, Molly

This study examined the differences between preschool students from Spanish speaking homes and preschool students from English speaking homes in the areas of classroom conduct, social skills, and teacher-child relationship quality, as rated by their teachers. Data were taken from the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project (EHSRE), a longitudinal study beginning in 1996. Participants in the current study included 1,034 parents, 1,034 children, and 743 teachers. Significant results revealed that students from Spanish speaking homes were rated more positively in the areas of classroom conduct and teacher-child relationship quality than students from English speaking homes. Analyses of sex differences yielded significant results, indicating that females were rated more positively than males in the areas of classroom conduct, social skills, and teacher-child relationship quality. Finally, classroom quality and receptive language scores accounted for some of the variance in the home language groups on the measures of classroom conduct and teacher-child relationship quality. The need for future research and implications for the social development of English learners are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2009

Preschoolers' cognitive and emotional self-regulation in pretend play: Relations with executive functions and quality of play
Slot, Pauline L.; Mulder, Hanna; Verhagen, Josje; Leseman, Paul P. M.

The preschool period is marked by rapid growth of children's self-regulation and related executive functions. Self-regulation is considered an important aspect of school readiness and is related to academic and social-emotional outcomes in childhood. Pretend play, as part of the early childhood curriculum, is hypothesized to support self-regulation. An important question concerns whether self-regulation should be considered an individual ability or, partly, a situated skill that is influenced by aspects of the classroom context. The aims of this study were to investigate the degree to which 3-year-olds showed cognitive and emotional self-regulation in a naturalistic play setting and to examine how test-based measures of children's cool and hot executive functions and the quality of their pretend play contributed to this observed self-regulation. The results indicated that 3-year-olds showed aspects of cognitive and emotional self-regulation. Cool executive functions appeared significantly related to emotional self-regulation, whereas hot executive functions were not significantly related to cognitive or emotional self-regulation. The quality of pretend play was strongly associated with cognitive self-regulation and, to a lesser extent, emotional self-regulation. The findings of this study suggest that both preschoolers' cool executive functions and the quality of play contributed to their self-regulation skills in naturalistic settings. Highlights - Preschoolers' cognitive and emotional self-regulation in a naturalistic play setting are two interrelated but separate constructs. - Children's cognitive executive functions predict observed emotional self-regulation during pretend play. - The quality of pretend play is strongly associated with children's cognitive self-regulation and, to a lesser extent, emotional self-regulation. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November/December 2017

A cross-lagged analysis of teacher-child language interactions and receptive vocabulary of non-ELL and ELL children
Meng, Christine

The present study investigated whether the bidirectional cross-lagged paths between teacher-child language interactions and receptive vocabulary would be significantly different between English language learner (ELL) and non-ELL children. The FACES 2009 cohort was used to address the research goals. Cross-lagged analysis was conducted with the individual paths tested to compare across three groups of children: non-ELLs, ELLs with limited English proficiency, and ELLs with English proficiency. Results showed that Time 1 teacher-child language interactions significantly predicted Time 2 receptive vocabulary, but not vice versa. When equality constraints were placed on the specific paths, differences and similarities were found among the three groups of children. Future research directions and study implications are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2017

Fidelity of implementation, teacher perceptions and child outcomes of a literacy curriculum in a Head Start program: A mixed methods study
Davis, Dawn;

The success of early childhood interventions have been influenced by the degree to which they were implemented with fidelity (e.g., Davidson, Fields & Yang, 2009; Dusenbury, Brannigan, Falco, & Hansen, 2003; Elliot & Mihalic, 2004), meaning "the degree to which teachers and other program providers implement programs as intended by the program developers" (Mellard & Johnson, 2008, p. 240). This study examines relations among implementation fidelity, teacher characteristics, their perceptions, and child literacy outcomes within a preschool literacy intervention using a mixed methods design. This study examines child literacy outcome data from 247 preschool children and fidelity, perceptions and demographic characteristics from 11 lead preschool classroom teachers. Teachers implemented a literacy curriculum in their classrooms and were observed in fall and spring with measures of classroom quality measures and fidelity. Six teachers participated in a semi-structured interview in the spring. Children were assessed in fall and spring using three literacy assessments targeting expressive vocabulary, uppercase letter identification and early literacy skills. Findings from the quantitative data revealed no relationship between fidelity and child literacy outcomes. Qualitative data from the teacher interviews indicated teachers felt their implementation was supported by the use of coaching, material support, positive experiences with child engagement and growth and positive parent feedback. Teachers felt implementation barriers were time, inappropriateness of some activities, negative experiences with the curriculum and incongruence between their own beliefs about how children learn best and the curriculum. When the data were mixed, both teachers with high fidelity and high child outcomes and teachers with low fidelity and low child outcomes were most positive about the curriculum. Teachers with high fidelity but low child outcomes reported the most negative perceptions of the curriculum. The current study provides insights into teacher perceptions of a curriculum, how those perceptions may influence implementation as well as child outcomes and offers some implications to early childhood programs and implementation science. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2014

The magic of play: Low-income mothers' and fathers' playfulness and children's emotion regulation and vocabulary skills
Cabrera, Natasha J.; Karberg, Elizabeth; Malin, Jenessa L.; Aldoney, Daniela;

Using data from a diverse sample of low-income families who participated in the Early Head Start Research Evaluation Project (n = 73), we explored the association between mothers' and fathers' playfulness with toddlers, toddler's affect during play, and children's language and emotion regulation at prekindergarten. There were two main findings. First, fathers' playfulness in toddlerhood was associated with children's vocabulary skills in prekindergarten whereas mothers' playfulness was related to children's emotion regulation. Cross-parental effects were found only for mothers. The association between mothers' playfulness and children's vocabulary and emotion regulation was strengthened when fathers engaged in more pretend play and when children were affectively positive during the play. These findings show that playfulness is an important source of variation in the vocabulary and emotion regulation of children growing up in low-income families. They also point to domain-specific ways that mothers and fathers promote children's regulatory and vocabulary skills, and highlight the importance of children's positive engagement in play. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November/December 2017

Social and emotional learning services and child outcomes in third grade: Evidence from a cohort of Head Start participants
Zhai, Fuhua; Raver, C. Cybele; Jones, Stephanie M.;

A variety of universal school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs have been designed in the past decades to help children improve social-emotional and academic skills. Evidence on the effectiveness of SEL programs has been mixed in the literature. Using data from a longitudinal follow-up study of children (n = 414) originally enrolled in a clustered randomized controlled trial (RCT) when they were in Head Start, we examined whether universal SEL services in third grade were associated with the development of children from disadvantaged families. We took advantage of pairwise matching in the RCT design to compare children who had similar family background and preschool experiences but received different doses of SEL services in third grade. The results showed that the frequent (i.e., weekly to daily) exposure to SEL opportunities was associated with favorable social-emotional and academic development in third grade, including increased social skills, student-teacher relationship, and academic skills, as well as reduced impulsiveness. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

September, 2015

A latent change score modeling approach to investigating developmental relations between phonological awareness and decoding ability in early readers
Spencer, Mercedes;

The present study investigated the dynamic developmental relations between phonological awareness and decoding ability in two groups of 3- and 4-year-old children (N = 2,513) from the Head Start Impact Study (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2002-2006) who were followed through the end of kindergarten. Children were randomly assigned to either receive Head Start or not. Using latent change score modeling methods, I tested several hypotheses regarding developmental influences among these literacy skills: (1) phonological awareness and decoding skills are developmentally correlated but do not influence one another; (2) phonological awareness influences decoding ability; (3) decoding ability influences phonological awareness; or (4) phonological awareness and decoding ability simultaneously influence one another. Results indicated that decoding ability predicted change in phonological awareness for 3- and 4-year-old children. The same trend emerged when the 3- and 4-year-olds were examined separately. Mixture modeling suggested no evidence for more than one latent class for both Head Start participants and controls, indicating an absence of differing developmental trajectories. The implications of these findings are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2016

A matter of perspective: An exploratory study of the relationship between the early math skills and social competence of children from low-income families
Mackintosh, Bonnie B.

The U.S. is calling for expansion of preschool to help close the well-documented income-based achievement gap. Children from low-income families often enter kindergarten academically behind their higher income peers and recent findings indicate gaps in social-emotional aspects of school readiness as well, illustrating how early these gaps emerge and raising questions about cross-domain relationships. Therefore, this two-study dissertation explores the relationship between children's social competence and their early math development. Study 1 uses longitudinal growth modeling to explore within and cross-domain relationships between children's a) interpersonal, social problem-solving skills and b) early math skills during a preschool year. Participants (N=76) were recruited from a MA preschool serving mostly children from low-income and minority families. Results show that children have positive, linear math learning trajectories that vary by age when not accounting for children's social competence. Children's development of flexibility in social problem-solving is associated with changes in the rates at which children learn math skills across a preschool year, controlling for baseline child demographics with no evidence of differential learning trajectories by age other than observed differences in math skills at preschool entry. Children's adaptive social problem-solving strategies show positive non-linear growth trajectories. Importantly, these adaptive problem-solving strategies from the previous time period have the potential (p =.12) to positively predict children's growth in early math skills during the preschool year. Study 2 draws a subsample (N=3485) from the Head Start Impact Study, (U.S. DHHS, 2010) a large, nationally representative study of Head Start, to investigate the potential mediating role of children's social competence on early math skills for children randomly assigned to Head Start. Results from a confirmatory factor analysis indicated good model fit for the latent construct with positive social skills and teacher-child relationships as indicators of social competence. Moreover, children's social competence was positively related to math achievement during the Head Start year. Taken together, results from these studies suggest that children's social competence may play an important role in promoting children's early math skills and may warrant more attention in preschool curricula especially as greater attention is paid to increasing implementation of challenging, developmentally-focused math curricula. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Preventing preschool fadeout through instructional intervention in kindergarten and first grade
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Watts, Tyler W.; Magnuson, Katherine A.; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Wolfe, Christopher B.; Spitler, Mary Elaine;

Little research has focused on why short-term gains from preschool may disappear and the conditions under which gains from preschool might be sustained into elementary school. We investigate whether two aspects of the elementary school environment may help to sustain the academic gains made during preschool using two random assignment preschool studies: 1) whether advanced and challenging instruction in kindergarten and first grade; 2) professional supports in which preschool teachers interact with their kindergarten and first grade counterparts to coordinate instruction and transition. We also assess whether the child's home learning environment moderates the persistence of preschool effects. We did not find any evidence to support the hypothesis that better instructional quality mitigates the fadeout of preschool treatment effects during elementary school. However, we did find some evidence that when the preschool intervention was coupled with teacher professional supports in kindergarten and first grade, this all but eliminated the fadeout of effects observed between kindergarten and first grade. We also did not find that factors in the home environment, parents education and home learning activities, help to sustain the gains made during preschool. Future research should investigate aligned preschool-elementary school curricular approaches to sustain the benefits of ECE programs for low-income children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

February, 2015

Dosage effects on language, literacy, and general development for children enrolled in multiple early intervention programs: Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and Early Reading First
Han, Jisu;

This study examined dosage effects of multiple intervention programs on young children's language, literacy, and general development. By employing a hierarchical linear model on a sample of 1,436 children from 72 classrooms, developmental outcomes of four-year-old children simultaneously receiving differing numbers of intervention services were compared: Group 1: Pre-Kindergarten only, Group 2: Pre-Kindergarten + Early Reading First, Group 3: Pre-Kindergarten + Early Reading First + Head Start. Additionally, the effects of previous participation in Early Head Start/Head Start before age four as well as the effects of classroom quality on child outcomes were examined. Findings suggested that understanding the primary focus areas of each program was a key to understanding the dosage effects of multiple intervention programs on children's developmental skills. Also, integrating additional intervention programs within a limited time frame may not necessarily lead to greater gains in child outcomes because positive and negative effects of a specific program might negate the effects of other programs. Having additional days of participation in Early Head Start and/or Head Start before age four positively predicted the developmental gains children made at age four in the areas of physical and cognitive development. A pattern of relationships between classroom quality and child outcomes revealed a close alignment between quality features and the particular child outcomes considered. Policy implications regarding the appropriate level of intervention dosage were discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2013

A structural model of early indicators of school readiness among children of poverty
Gullo, Dominic F.

Factors that affect children's school readiness potential are evident even from birth. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses that certain factors related to gender, approaches to learning, age at school entry, family income, and the health status of the child at birth have an effect on low-socioeconomic status (SES) children's readiness for school. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) was used to test the hypotheses. Included in the sample were 1700 children of diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. All the children were in the lowest SES quintile of the children making up the ECLS-B cohort. The hypothesized model suggested that there were both direct and indirect influences on children's school readiness performance. Potential risk factors and implications for ameliorating negative influences were identified. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2018

The impact of universal prekindergarten on family behavior and child outcomes
Chor, Elise; Andresen, Martin Eckhoff; Kalil, Ariel

We measure the impact of universal prekindergarten for four-year-olds by exploiting a natural experiment in which the Australian state of Queensland eliminated its public prekindergarten program in 2007. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we find that five months of access to universal prekindergarten leads to an increase of 0.23 standard deviations in general school readiness. Cognitive benefits are evident across socioeconomic status, while behavioral improvements of 0.19 standard deviations are restricted to girls. Our evidence suggests that the positive effects of universal prekindergarten provision on children's development are driven by the use of higher-quality formal early education and care. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

December, 2016

The impact of teachers' commenting strategies on children's vocabulary growth
Barnes, Erica Marie; Dickinson, David K.;

We examined the relations between teachers' use of comments during book reading sessions in preschool classrooms and the vocabulary growth of children with low and moderately low language ability. Using data from a larger randomized controlled trial, we analyzed comments defined as utterances that give, explain, expand, or define. Comments were coded for strategies, which were distinguished by the amount of cognitive distancing required for understanding. Strategies were divided into three levels: low, medium, and high. Videos of whole-class book reading sessions conducted in the fall were transcribed and analyzed for 489 children attending the classrooms of 52 Head Start preschool teachers. Descriptive analyses revealed that teachers largely used medium-level strategies, but relatively small amounts of low- and high-level comments. Logistic regressions revealed relationships between curriculum condition and teachers' use of instructional strategies, such that those assigned to the intervention curriculum used more high-level strategies. Multilevel models found significant relationships between medium-level comments and children's receptive vocabulary growth across one year of Head Start preschool instruction, such that children in classrooms where teachers used more medium-level comments experienced greater growth than those hearing fewer. No moderating effects were found based on children's initial language abilities. Implications for practice and future research are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July, 2017

A study of Head Start effectiveness using a randomized design
Abbott-Shim, Martha; Lambert, Richard G.; McCarty, Frances;

A randomized design study with a wide range of outcomes related to school readiness, including health, social skills, cognitive skills, and pre-literacy skills was conducted with eligible four-year-old applicants and their parents within a southeastern Head Start program. Children and their families in the Head Start treatment and control groups were given a battery of assessments. The study used growth curve modeling and traditional analysis of variance when only two measurements of outcomes were available. Initial status was equivalent and the growth rates for the Head Start children were statistically significantly faster than the control children on the receptive vocabulary and, phonemic awareness measures. There was a statistically significant time by group interaction and main effect of time for the problem behavior index of the social functioning measure. The parent report of health outcomes also showed statistically significant differences between the two groups. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

June, 2000

To what extent do Head Start's effects on children's language, literacy, mathematics, and socio-emotional skills vary across individuals, subgroups, and centers?
Bloom, Howard S.; Weiland, Christina

In the current study, we use data for the first follow-up year of the Head Start Head Start Impact Study to examine variation in Head Start's impacts on children. Specifically, we examine whether there is statistically significant variation in Head Start's impacts on children's cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes across individual children, subgroups of children, and Head Start centers. To do so, we use a new and innovative methodology for estimating sources of variation in program impacts (Bloom, 2012; Bloom, Raudenbush, & Weiss, 2013). (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2014

Preventing preschool fadeout through instructional intervention in kindergarten and first grade
Duncan, Greg J.; Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Watts, Tyler W.; Magnuson, Katherine A.; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Wolfe, Christopher B.; Spitler, Mary Elaine

In the current study, we investigate two salient approaches available to policymakers that may improve preschool participants' instructional experiences in elementary school. The first involves advanced and challenging instruction in kindergarten and first grade, because children who attend preschool will hypothetically benefit more from advanced content. The other involves some type of professional support in which preschool teachers interact with their kindergarten and first grade counterparts to develop a seamless transition from one grade to the next. We use two experimental studies of preschool interventions and children's elementary school environments to examine whether the quality of instructional content or providing professional development supports to early grade teachers moderate the impacts of two well-known programs on children's cognitive skills: Head Start and Building Blocks. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2015

Effects of Head Start hours on children's cognitive, pre-academic, and behavioral outcomes: An instrumental variable analysis
Li, Weilin; Farkas, George; Duncan, Greg J.; Vandell, Deborah Lowe; Burchinal, Margaret

Background / Context: Children from low-income families benefit remarkably from exposure to compensatory education that began with Head Start in 1965 and aimed to improve school readiness skills by design (Farran, 2007; Scarr & Weinberg, 1986). While empirical evidence has supported more instructional time in elementary and secondary schools for low-income students (Abdulkadiroglu, Angrist, Dynarski, Kane, & Pathak, 2011; Angrist, Dynarsky, Kane, Pathak, & Walters, 2010; Dobbie & Fryer, 2011; Hoxby, Muraka, & Kang, 2009; Patall, Cooper, & Allen, 2010), little is known that whether increasing quantity of Head Start could also benefit low-income children. Also largely unexamined is how Head Start quantity effects differ for different age groups. Research Question: (1) Does the amount of daily exposure to Head Start impact cognitive, pre-academic, and social outcomes? (2) Does the impact vary by age? (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2013

Effects of family involvement: Early childhood cognitive outcomes using longitudinal growth curve models
Sproul, Faith

Early childhood education and family involvement have been shown to provide a positive impact on students' academic achievement regardless of socioeconomic circumstances and background. They have been regarded as two of the most important protective factors in maximizing outcomes for children at risk, especially those from low-income backgrounds. The overall objective of this study was to examine how family involvement changes over time, whether it predicted cognitive outcomes for preschool populations, and potential variables that mediate the relationship between family involvement and outcomes. Data from the Head Start Impact Study conducted through the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) were used to answer the research questions. Exploratory and Confirmatory analysis revealed three dimensions of home involvement based on survey items: involvement related to literacy, numeracy, and family resources. Growth curve models suggested increased levels of involvement as children progressed from preschool to first grade. Higher levels of involvement for Literacy for observed for children in Head Start during the first data collection follow-up. The types of involvement were significantly related to cognitive scores as measured by the PPVT-III and WJ-III Achievement. Parenting styles acted as a mediator between involvement and cognitive outcomes. Implications for policy and practice related to transition services are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2012

Is more time in Head Start always better for children?: The moderating role of classroom quality
Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Connors, Maia C.; Morris, Pamela A.

The current study expands on previous research by using quasi-experimental methods that leverage the experimental context of the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS; Puma et al., 2010) to understand the extent to which Head Start classroom quality moderates the impact of weekly hours in Head Start on children's early language and math skills and externalizing behaviors. We begin by replicating Li and colleagues' (2013) instrumental variables (IV) analysis assessing the effects of weekly hours in Head Start on outcomes for children, leveraging the random assignment nature of the HSIS design and the "offer" of differing numbers of hours of Head Start in the treatment condition and zero hours of Head Start in the control condition. We then extend this work to account for the quality of the Head Start center children attend. We hypothesize that weekly hours in Head Start will be more strongly associated with outcomes for children enrolled in high quality programs as compared with children enrolled in low quality programs. In contrast to previous research that used samples of children enrolled in child care, the current study relies on a sample of children enrolled in educationally focused Head Start programs. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2014

Do high quality kindergarten and first grade classrooms mitigate preschool fadeout?
Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Watts, Tyler W.; Magnuson, Katherine A.; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Clements, Douglas H.; Sarama, Julie; Duncan, Greg J.;

Prior research shows that short-term treatment effects from preschool may disappear, but little research has considered which environmental conditions might sustain the academic advantages from preschool into elementary school. Using two random-assignment studies, we investigate whether two features of the elementary school environment help to sustain preschool academic gains: 1) exposure to advanced and high-quality instruction in kindergarten and first grade; 2) professional supports to coordinate curricular instruction and transition. Across both studies, our measures of instruction did not moderate fadeout from preschool. However, results indicated that targeted teacher professional supports substantially mitigated fadeout between kindergarten and first grade. Future research should investigate whether aligned preschool-elementary school curricular approaches can sustain the benefits of preschool programs for low-income children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2016

Understanding associations between low-income mothers' participation in education and parenting
Harding, Jessica F.; Morris, Pamela A.; Hill, Jennifer;

Maternal education is one of the strongest predictors of children's academic outcomes. One possible explanation for this is that more highly educated mothers more frequently engage in parenting practices that may promote children's later cognitive development; however, most of this evidence is correlational. This study uses Head Start Impact Study data (N = 1,953) to explore whether low-income mothers' participation in education affects their parenting practices and beliefs. Principal scores, which predict maternal educational participation based on covariates, were used for analysis. Principal score matching was used to identify mothers who we predicted participated in education because their children were randomly assigned to Head Start. We compared these mothers' outcomes to those of mothers we predicted would have participated in education if they were assigned to Head Start. For these mothers, participation in maternal education was associated with children watching fewer hours of TV, having more types of printed media at home, and more frequent participation in cultural activities, but it was not associated with a host of other parenting outcomes. Changing parenting is one potential pathway by which maternal educational participation may influence children's later academic outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October-December 2017

The role of classroom quality in explaining Head Start impacts
Connors, Maia C.; Friedman-Krauss, Allison; Morris, Pamela A.; Page, Lindsay C.; Feller, Avi

This study seeks to answer the question: Are impacts on Head Start classroom quality associated with impacts of Head Start on children's learning and development? This study employs a variety of descriptive and quasi-experimental methods to explore the role of classroom quality as a mediator or mechanism of Head Start impacts. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2014

Child care choice: Parental processes and consequences for research
Bernstein, Sara

This dissertation approaches parents' child care choice processes from two perspectives, using mixed methods. The first study used qualitative data to examine how low-income parents make their employment and child care decisions while balancing their roles as nurturer and provider. Child age, parents' job characteristics, resources and resource management, and immigration status emerge as four major factors in parents' employment and care decisions. Additionally, the study highlights the role better information and dissemination could play in helping families manage these choices. The second study examined potential mediators for cognitive impacts seen in nonurban children in the National Head Start Impact Study's 3-year-old cohort. This study finds no evidence that the availability of alternative formal-care options explain the impacts for this group. There is some indication that nonurban children's higher quality post-Head Start schooling could mediate impacts, but problems with missing data mean these findings must be treated with much caution. Better geographic identifiers, and attention to children's developmental trajectories across outcome domains, are two promising paths forward in trying to better understand the end of first-grade cognitive impacts for nonurban 3-year-old cohort children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2012

Center-based early childhood education: Curriculum, implementation, and intensity
Li, Weilin

This dissertation aimed to link quality and quantity of center-based education with child outcomes. The first study focused on curriculum and compared the ability of different types of curricula in promoting children's cognitive and academic outcomes. This study synthesized 44 studies in the past several decades and compared child outcomes of curricula that targeted general domains and those of curricula that targeted at more specific domains. The second study focused on curricula implementation quality. This chapter utilized data from the study of the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) to relate implementation quality of literacy curricula to child literacy outcomes. Results from propensity score matching approach showed that children in classrooms that had implemented literacy curricula with high fidelity scored .2 standard deviations higher in language outcomes than those in classrooms that had implemented literacy curricula with low fidelity as well as those in classrooms that had implemented curricula targeting general domains. The last empirical study focused on dosage effects. This chapter estimated effects of Head Start hours on child cognitive outcomes using data from the National Head Start Impact Study (HSIS). An instrumental variable (IV) approach was conducted to eliminate selection bias due to unobserved family backgrounds that affected both Head Start hours and child outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2013

Boosting school readiness with preschool curricula
Duncan, Greg J.; Jenkins, Jade Marcus; Auger, Anamarie; Burchinal, Margaret; Domina, Thurston; Bitler, Marianne;

Both federal and state governments regulate the quality and curricula of early childhood education programs in hopes of promoting the school readiness of disadvantaged children. We draw on data from the experimental Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Initiative Study to provide an aggregated look at the impacts of four types of preschool curricula (literacy-focused, math-focused, whole-child and locally developed) on classroom processes as well as children's academic and socioemotional outcomes. The math curriculum included in the study boosted both classroom math activities and children's math achievement relative to the two whole-child curricula (HighScope and Creative Curriculum) found in most Head Start and pre-K classrooms. Also relative to HighScope and Creative Curriculum, the literacy curricula increased early literacy achievement despite producing no statistically significant differences in classroom activities or teacher-child interactions. Although Creative Curriculum produced much more positive classroom processes than locally developed curricula, it failed to improve either the academic achievement or behavior of preschool children relative to the local curricula. Implications for Head Start and pre-K curricula choice and the utility of widely used classroom rating scales are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2015

A contributing role of parental investments in early learning to Head Start impacts on children's language and literacy: Examining how mechanisms of program impact differ for Spanish-speaking dual language learners (DLL) and non-DLL
Oh, Soojin S.;

The national Head Start Impact Study (HSIS) estimated the average impact of an offer of Head Start treatment ("Intent-to-Treat," or ITT). The HSIS was an experimental study of a nationally-representative sample of 4,440 preschoolers, across 378 centers, in 22 states, with participating children being randomized to an offer of one year's attendance in the Head-Start Program versus assignment to a control condition, under which no offer was made but families were free to continue with whatever child-care arrangements they favored personally. The impact study found that an offer of one year's attendance in the Head Start program had small impacts on children's language and literacy. Additionally, and most interestingly, the HSIS reported that an offer of program attendance produced larger impacts among Latino Dual Language Learners (DLL,) but the question remains why these particular children benefitted from the program more than did their English-speaking peers. However, the evaluation did not investigate whether changes in parenting practices mediated these program impacts on children's learning. In this thesis, I argue that a study of the key mechanisms through which the program impacted child outcomes remains central to understanding why Head Start improved children's language and literacy. Thus, in my thesis, I have unpacked the mechanisms that mediated these detected effects--through parental practices--using two complementary estimation strategies: [1] multilevel structural-equation modeling and [2] average causal mediation effect estimation, by reanalyzing the original study data. A central aim of my research was to contribute to the body of early childhood research and inform policy directions and program development by: (a) investigating whether ITT effects on early child language outcomes were mediated through parent-child language-and-literacy activities, and (b) conducting multi-group comparisons to test whether the impact of these mediational pathways differed by the child's DLL status. I found that, on average, assignment increased children's vocabulary and reading scores (effect sizes =+.13; e.s.=+.17), respectively. The randomized offer of Head Start also increased the frequency of parent-child language-and-literacy activities (e.s.= +.25). This impact was larger for Latino parents of Spanish-speaking DLL. Additionally, I found statistically significant indirect effects: 14% of the total impact on vocabulary scores and 18% of the total impact on reading scores were mediated through parent-child language-and-literacy activities. In addition, the causal mediation effects of program impact on vocabulary and reading differed by DLL status: 12% of the impact on vocabulary was mediated through parent-child language-and-literacy activities for DLL children, compared with 18% for non-DLL. And for reading, 37% of the impact was mediated through parent-child language-and-literacy activities for DLL children vs. 4% for non-DLL children. I conclude with important directions for how early childhood programs can improve parental investment in early learning for diverse groups of children, and explanations for why mediated effects differed by language status. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2015

Selective attention relates to the development of executive functions in 2,5- to 3-year-olds: A longitudinal study
Veer, Ilona M.; Luyten, Hans; Mulder, Hanna; Tuijl, Cathy van; Sleegers, Peter;

To study the central role of selective attention in the early development of executive functions (EFs), longitudinal relationships between selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were explored. Selective attention, working memory, and simple response inhibition were assessed twice in our preschool sample (N = 273), which included a relatively large number of children from low SES families. The tasks were administered between age 2.5 (time 1) and 3 years (time 2). An analytical path model was tested to analyse the relationships simultaneously. The results indicate that selective attention at age 2.5 years predicts working memory and response inhibition at age 3 years. Controlling for gender, SES, home language, verbal ability, and age did not affect the strengths of these relationships. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2017

Mother-child conversations at 36 months and at pre-kindergarten: Relations to children's school readiness
Cristofaro, Tonia; Tamis-LeMonda, Catherine S.;

The contributions of mothers' and children's oral language to children's school readiness were longitudinally examined among 75 low-income mothers and children. When children were 36 months, mothers' and children's lexical diversity, mothers' wh-questions, and children's PPVT-III scores were assessed from play interactions. At pre-kindergarten, mothers and children shared a personal narrative, and various aspects of mothers' and children's narratives were coded. Children were assessed on their knowledge about print, letter-word identification, mathematical skills and sustained attention, and scores were combined into a single factor of school readiness. Structural equation analyses yielded two pathways to school readiness. Mothers' wh-questions and lexical diversity predicted children's PPVT-III scores at 36 months, which in turn predicted children's school readiness. Mothers' 36-month lexical diversity predicted mothers' narrative prompts, which related to children's narrative contributions. Children's narrative contributions in turn predicted school readiness. Mother-child conversations support the school readiness of children from low-income backgrounds. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2012

Multiple dimensions of family involvement and their relations to behavioral and learning competencies for urban, low-income children
Fantuzzo, John W.; McWayne, Christine M.; Perry, Marlo A.; Childs, Stephanie;

Relations between multiple dimensions of family involvement in early childhood education and classroom outcomes were examined. Participants included 144 urban, Head Start children. Parental report of family involvement was gathered in late fall using a multidimensional assessment. Relations between family involvement dimensions and end of the year outcomes of approaches to learning, conduct problems, and receptive vocabulary were investigated. Results revealed that Home-Based family involvement emerged as the strongest predictor of child outcomes. This dimension associated significantly with children's motivation to learn, attention, task persistence, receptive vocabulary skills, and low conduct problems. The School-Based Involvement dimension was significantly related to low conduct problems in the classroom when combined with the influence of Home-Based Involvement. The School-Based Involvement and Home-School Conferencing dimensions did not predict later child outcomes when considered simultaneously with Home-Based Involvement. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2004

Parental literacy behavior and engagement in homes of dual-language learners: A mixed methods study
Plata-Potter, Sandra Ixa;

Latino preschoolers' vulnerability to deficiencies in school readiness skills (e.g., alphabet knowledge, letter sounds, print awareness) is well-documented. The purpose of this three-phase, explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to examine parental participation in emergent literacy activities, using both quantitative and qualitative measures, and to determine how parental participation associated with child outcomes for Latino dual-language learners during preschool. Phase I of the study was quantitative in nature, and was part of a larger literacy intervention program, the Rural Language and Literacy Connections (Rural LLC) study. The quantitative hypotheses addressed the association between parental involvement and child emergent literacy outcomes for Latino dual-language learners. Quantitative analyses showed that attendance in Family Literacy Events (FLE) did not significantly relate to the Family Involvement Questionnaire-Home Base (FIQ-HB) in the home or child outcomes. FIQ-HB was positively and significantly related to child alphabet knowledge, but was not related to other outcomes and negatively related to child Print and Word Knowledge and Spanish Vocabulary. In Phase II, the qualitative case study explored the perspectives of parents of Latino dual-language learners following participation in a preschool emergent literacy program, to determine history, roles, and literacy-related activities. In addition to the interviews, parents shared literacy portfolios created by the child and parents. Key themes were as follows: Parent's Childhood Literacy Experiences, Parent's Role, Home Literacy Activities, Family Literacy Events, and Spanish Language Instruction in the Home. In Phase III, qualitative results were examined to explain the quantitative results; these results suggest that families who attended the FLEs were not typical of all families, that the families reported they did benefit from the FLEs, and that families were highly invested in supporting children's language and literacy but not in ways that the FIQ-HB was measuring. The positive findings for Alphabet Knowledge, but negative findings for relations between FIQ-HB and Print and Word Awareness and Spanish Vocabulary, suggest that families who increase their literacy activities, as measured by the FIQ-HB, may be improving some, but diminishing other behaviors that support literacy and retention of Spanish. These mixed method results have implications for how to support Hispanic families' language and literacy in the context of intervention programs. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2012

Dads' Parent Interactions with Children-Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO-D): Developing an observational measure of father-child interaction
Anderson, Sheila;

Intervention programs providing support for father parenting skills need a practical but psychometrically strong observational measure of fathers' early positive parenting interactions with children. The primary purpose of this project was to develop a valid, reliable observational measure of father-child interaction, based on research and theory, that predicts child outcomes, identifies fathers' strengths, and will be useful for home visiting practitioners. This study sought to fulfill this need by developing a new measure called Dads' Parenting Interactions with Children--Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO-D) for home visitors to use to identify fathering strengths. Developed with extant video observations of over 400 ethnically diverse, low-income fathers, 73 positive observable behavioral items of early positive father-child interaction were tested for variability, reliability, and validity. The final measure of 21 items representing four domains of positive parenting, affection, responsiveness, encouragement, and teaching, demonstrated good reliability and validity, including associations with children's language, cognitive, and social emotional outcomes into prekindergarten. Contextual influences were examined within father ethnicity and child gender groups and in a second observational setting. European and Latino American fathers had higher scores than African American fathers. Fathers had higher scores with daughters than sons. Fathers had higher scores in a semistructured play setting than in a father-choice setting. The new measure is intended for use as part of an individualized strengths-based approach for home visiting practitioners. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2012

Will public pre-K really close achievement gaps?: Gaps in prekindergarten quality between students and across states
Valentino, Rachel A.;

Publicly funded pre-K is often touted as a means to narrow achievement gaps, but this goal is less likely to be achieved if poor/minority children do not, at a minimum, attend equal quality pre-K as their non-poor/non-minority peers. In this paper I find large "quality gaps" in public pre-K between poor/minority students and non-poor/non-minority students, ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 SD on a range of classroom observational measures. I also find that even after adjusting for several classroom characteristics, significant and sizable quality gaps remain. Finally, I find much between-state variation in gap magnitudes, and that state-level quality gaps are related to state-level residential segregation. These findings are particularly troubling if a goal of public pre-K is to minimize inequality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Teacher-child interactions in free choice and teacher-directed activity settings: Prediction to school readiness
Goble, Priscilla; Pianta, Robert C.

Research Findings: This article examines whether time spent in free choice and teacher-directed activity settings within preschool was associated with indicators of school readiness and the extent to which children's learning was associated with the quality of teachers' behavior within these settings. Participants were 325 preschool teachers and 1,407 children from low-income backgrounds. Teacher-child interactions were measured in multiple cycles across 1 day of classroom observation within teacher-organized free choice and teacher-directed activity settings. The overall proportion of class time spent in free choice was positively related to children's average gains in inhibitory control, whereas class time spent in teacher-directed activities predicted gains in language development and early literacy skills. And more effective teacher-child interactions within the free choice setting were significantly related to children's average gains in language development and early literacy skills. Practice or Policy: Findings confirm that both free choice and teacher-directed settings in early education classrooms can be assets for children's learning; however, the value of time in child-managed activities is partially dependent on teachers' behavior with children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November/December 2017

The relationship of Head Start teachers' academic language use and children's receptive vocabulary
Barnes, Erica Marie; Dickinson, David K.;

Research Findings: This study examines lexical- and sentence-level dimensions of academic language to describe teachers' natural use of academic language and its association with vocabulary growth in 489 at-risk 4-year-olds enrolled in Head Start preschool classrooms. Using transcripts derived from video recordings of book-reading sessions in 52 classrooms, we developed measures to assess the relationships among teachers' use of lexical elements (amount, sophistication, and diversity of vocabulary) and utterance length (mean length of utterance in words) and children's end-of-year receptive vocabulary scores. Hierarchical linear models indicated that children in classrooms where teachers used more lexical elements had higher end-of-year receptive vocabulary scores than those who heard less. Conversely, children in classrooms where shorter utterances were used had higher end-of-year receptive vocabulary scores. Classroom factors also played a role in children's vocabulary scores, indicating a need to address classroom environments in addition to teachers' language use. Practice or Policy: Results indicate that teachers should consider the unique contributions of lexical- and sentence-level elements when providing vocabulary instruction for children with below-the-mean vocabulary scores. Implications for instruction are addressed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October, 2017

Early childhood professional development: Coaching and coursework effects on indicators of children's school readiness
Pianta, Robert C.; Hamre, Bridget; Downer, Jason T.; Burchinal, Margaret; Williford, Amanda P.; LoCasale-Crouch, Jennifer; Howes, Carollee; La Paro, Karen M.; Scott-Little, Catherine;

Research Findings: Effects on children's school readiness were evaluated for 2 interventions focused on improving teacher-student interactions (coursework, coaching) implemented sequentially across 2 years. Teachers from public prekindergarten programs in 10 locations were assigned randomly to treatment or control conditions in each year. Children's language behavior was observed during the coaching year: Coaching and the course each had positive impacts on children's multiword language behavior. Treatment impacts on directly assessed literacy, language, and self-regulation skills were evaluated within an intent-to-treat framework for children taught by the participating teachers in the coaching and postcoaching years. Children demonstrated higher levels of inhibitory control in direct assessments when their teacher had received coaching the prior year. Teachers who received both coursework and coaching reported in the postcoaching year that children in their classrooms demonstrated greater levels of behavioral control. Treatment effects did not differ as a consequence of child, classroom, or program characteristics, and there were no significant effects on directly assessed literacy or language skills. Practice or Policy: Results suggest modest benefits for children's language behavior and self-regulation for intervention(s) that improve the quality of teacher-child interaction. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November/December 2017

Predicting self-regulation and vocabulary and academic skills at kindergarten entry: The roles of maternal parenting stress and mother-child closeness
Harmeyer, Erin; Ispa, Jean M.; Palermo, Francisco; Carlo, Gustavo;

We examined the indirect relations between maternal parenting stress when children were 15months of age and children's vocabulary and academic skills when they were about to enter kindergarten, testing for potential mediation by mother-child closeness and children's self-regulation skills. Participants had been involved in the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project and included 1760 European American, African American, and Hispanic low-income mother-child dyads. Structural equation modeling revealed that mothers' parenting stress when children were 15 months old was inversely related to children's vocabulary and academic skills just prior to kindergarten, and that mother-child closeness at 25 months and children's pre-kindergarten self-regulation skills consecutively mediated these associations in a three-path mediation model. The findings highlight the benefits of mother-child closeness in toddlerhood, and negative implications of maternal parenting stress. The discussion focuses on how maternal parenting stress is related to later maternal behavior, ultimately shaping child outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2016

Another look at the influence of maternal education on preschoolers' performance on two norm-referenced measures
Abel, Alyson D.; Schuele, C. Melanie; Barako-Arndt, Karen; Lee, Marvin W.; Blankenship, Kathryn Guillot;

The purpose of this study was (a) to describe the performance of preschool children from families with college-educated mothers on two norm-referenced measures, the Preschool Language Scale-4 (PLS-4) and Peabody Picture Vocabulary Tests-III (PPVT-III), and (b) to compare the findings with Qi and colleagues who reported PLS and PPVT scores for children from lower income families. The study involved a secondary analysis of previously collected PLS-4 and PPVT-III data. Participants included 146 typically developing preschoolers who attended preschools serving primarily children from college-educated mothers. Mean standard scores on both measures were at the upper end or exceeded one standard deviation above the normative mean with distributions that approximated normal. Means also greatly exceeded the lower socioeconomic status (SES) group means reported by Qi and colleagues. These results suggest that subsample norms, based on SES, yield multiple distinct but overlapping distributions. Thus, test developers should consider providing subsample norms in addition to traditional population-based norms. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2017

Low-income children in Head Start and beyond: Findings from FACES
Zill, Nicholas; Resnick, Gary;

This chapter analyzes changes in children's emergent literacy skills during their participation in Head Start and into kindergarten but also examines factors at the program, center, and classroom levels that may enhance or constrain children's acquisition of emergent literacy and numeracy skills. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2006

Spanish instruction in Head Start and dual language learners' academic achievement
Miller, Elizabeth B.;

Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 1141) and the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey, 2009 Cohort (N = 825) were used to investigate whether Spanish instruction in Head Start differentially increased Spanish-speaking Dual Language Learners' (DLLs) academic achievement. Although hypothesized that Spanish instruction would be beneficial for DLLs' early literacy and math skills, results from residualized growth models showed there were no such positive associations. Somewhat surprisingly, DLL children instructed in Spanish had higher English receptive vocabulary skills at the end of the Head Start year than those not instructed, with children randomly assigned to Head Start and instructed in Spanish having the highest scores. Policy implications for Head Start-eligible Spanish-speaking DLLs are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

September/October 2017

Performance on the PPVT-III and the EVT: Applicability of the measures with African American and European American preschool children
Restrepo, M. Adelaida; Schwanenflugel, Paula J.; Blake, Jamilia; Neuharth-Pritchett, Stacey; Cramer, Stephen E.; Ruston, Hilary P.;

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether two vocabulary measures were appropriate for the evaluation of African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels, regardless of gender. Method: Data were collected for 210 high-risk, preschool children from a southeastern state in the United States on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition (PPVT-III; L. M. Dunn & L.M. Dunn, 1997) and the Expressive Vocabulary Test (EVT; K. T. Williams, 1997). Results: Results indicated that African American children and children whose mothers had low education levels tended to score lower on both measures than did children from European American backgrounds and children whose mothers had a high school or higher education; however, this effect was larger for the PPVT-III. Clinical Implications: Data suggest that the EVT is a better indicator of a child's "vocabulary" skill, and that the PPVT-III has a greater tendency than the EVT to place African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels at risk for being unfairly identified as presenting with a potential language disorder. These data indicate that practitioners should use alternative assessment methods such as nonstandard and dynamic assessments to test children's vocabulary skill. In particular, if they use the PPVT-III, practitioners should take great caution in interpreting test results as evidence of a vocabulary problem in African American children and children whose mothers have low education levels. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2006

African American father involvement and preschool children's school readiness
Downer, Jason T.; Mendez, Julia L.;

A developmental ecological model was used to identify child attributes, father characteristics, and familial factors associated with multidimensional father involvement with preschool children enrolled in Head Start. The relations between father involvement and children's school readiness were also investigated. Eighty-five African American fathers and father figures were surveyed about their involvement in child care, home-based educational and school-based educational activities. Children's school readiness competencies were evaluated via teacher report or direct assessment. Father involvement in child care and home-based educational activities were predicted by different contextual factors and child attributes. Fathers were more involved in child care activities when they lived in a child's home and when a child was highly emotional. Fathers who perceived the existence of a strong parenting alliance reported more involvement in home-based educational activities. Father involvement in child care and home-based educational activities was associated with higher levels of children's emotion regulation. Findings are consistent with a contextual, multidimensional perspective of African American fathering and hold policy implications for fatherhood initiatives in the early childhood education field. Efforts to increase father involvement may be most effective when addressing the multitude of influences on fathering behavior and focusing on father-child activities that occur outside of the preschool setting. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July, 2005

Language performance of low-income African American and European American preschool children on the PPVT-III
Huaqing Qi, Cathy; Kaiser, Ann P.; Milan, Stephanie; Hancock, Terry;

Purpose: The performance of low-income African American preschoolers (36 to 52 months old) on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third Edition (PPVT-III; L. M. Dunn & L. M. Dunn, 1997) was examined to provide a norm for assessing the performance of this population and to explore the link between socioeconomic status (SES) and language scores on the PPVT-III. Method: Four hundred and eighty-two African American and 52 European American children in a comparison group were individually administered the PPVT-III. Results: On average, African American children performed approximately 1.5 SD below the expected mean based on national norms. Using standard cutoff scores, the PPVT-III identified more children as having language delays than did other measures of language abilities. Socioeconomic factors were related to PPVT-III scores, indicating that the degree of disadvantage within children with low SES was related to language abilities. Maternal education level, marital status, and the number of children in the household were uniquely associated with children's performance on the PPVT-III. Clinical Implications: The importance of supporting language development in preschool children from low-income families is discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2006

Late talkers: A population-based study of risk factors and school readiness consequences
Hammer, Carol Scheffner; Morgan, Paul L.; Farkas, George; Hillemeier, Marianne M.; Bitetti, Dana; Maczuga, Steve;

Purpose: This study was designed to (a) identify sociodemographic, pregnancy and birth, family health, and parenting and child care risk factors for being a late talker at 24 months of age; (b) determine whether late talkers continue to have low vocabulary at 48 months; and (c) investigate whether being a late talker plays a unique role in children's school readiness at 60 months. Method: We analyzed data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, a population-based sample of 9,600 children. Data were gathered when the children were 9, 24, 48, and 60 months old. Results: The risk of being a late talker at 24 months was significantly associated with being a boy, lower socioeconomic status, being a nonsingleton, older maternal age at birth, moderately low birth weight, lower quality parenting, receipt of day care for less than 10 hr/week, and attention problems. Being a late talker increased children's risk of having low vocabulary at 48 months and low school readiness at 60 months. Family socioeconomic status had the largest and most profound effect on children's school readiness. Conclusions: Limited vocabulary knowledge at 24 and 48 months is uniquely predictive of later school readiness. Young children with low vocabularies require additional supports prior to school entry. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2017

Low-income ethnically diverse children's engagement as a predictor of school readiness above preschool classroom quality
Sabol, Terri J.; Bohlmann, Natalie L.; Downer, Jason T.;

This study examined whether children's observed individual engagement with teachers, peers, and tasks related to their school readiness after controlling for observed preschool classroom quality and children's baseline skills. The sample included 211 predominately low-income, racially/ethnically diverse 4-year-old children in 49 preschool classrooms in one medium-sized U.S. city. Results indicated that children's positive engagement with (a) teachers related to improved literacy skills; (b) peers related to improved language and self-regulatory skills; and (c) tasks related to closer relationships with teachers. Children's negative engagement was associated with lower language, literacy, and self-regulatory skills, and more conflict and closeness with teachers. Effect sizes were small to medium in magnitude, and some expected relations between positive engagement and school readiness were not found. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March/April 2018

One or two years of participation: Is dosage of an enhanced publicly funded preschool program associated with the academic and executive function skills of low-income children in early elementary school?
Shah, Harshini K.; Domitrovich, Celene E.; Morgan, Nicole R.; Moore, Julia E.; Cooper, Brittany Rhoades; Jacobson, Linda; Greenberg, Mark T.;

This study extends previous work conducted with a sample of primarily low-income children attending an enhanced, publicly funded preschool program and assesses the effect of preschool dosage (i.e., receiving one or two years of preschool) on children's academic and executive function (EF) outcomes at first and second grade. Because random assignment of children to receive one or two years of preschool was not possible, we used propensity score one-to-one matching to create two groups of equal size--a one-year group (i.e., those who attended preschool for one year and represented low preschool dosage, N = 144) and a two-year group (i.e., those who attended preschool for two years and represented high preschool dosage, N = 144) to control for potential selection bias. With respect to academic skills, children in the two-year group had higher scores on receptive vocabulary (as assessed by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, Third Edition) and math skills (as assessed by the Applied Problems subtest of the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Test Battery-Revised [WJ-R]). They also had higher Broad Reading composite scores on the WJ-R at second grade. With respect to EF skills, at both first and second grade, children in the two-year group had higher scores on a working memory task (Backward Digit Span); they also made fewer perseverative errors and completed more categories on a task assessing set-shifting (Wisconsin Card Sort Task-64). Finally, children in the two-year group were better adjusted in school (i.e., they were less likely to have been retained or have received special education services by second grade). Effect sizes ranged from 0.22 to 0.40, suggesting that providing low-income children with an extra year of high-quality preschool continues to benefit students into elementary school. We discuss implications of the findings for public policy. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2017

Investigating maternal self-efficacy and home learning environment of families enrolled in Head Start
Bojczyk, Kathryn E.; Rogers-Haverback, Heather; Pae, Hye

The aim of this study was to examine the relationships between mothers' self-efficacy beliefs, their preschool children's home learning environments, and literacy skills. A sample of 112 mother-child dyads was recruited from Head Start centers in rural and urban communities. The measures included maternal self-efficacy and maternal perceptions of child's readiness to read as well as the Stipek Home Learning Activities (SHLA) scale, Home-Learning Environment Profile (HLEP), and the Stony Brook Family Reading Survey (SBFRS). Modeling path analysis was performed. Model fit indices indicated that the resulting model was a good fit for the data. Concerning the direct effects of maternal self-efficacy on home learning environment, positive significant effects for the SHLA measure as well as the HLEP were found. However, no direct effect was found with regard to maternal self-efficacy on SBFRS indicating evidence for the domain specificity of efficacy beliefs. Implications of the study include findings that higher maternal self-efficacy is related to creating a more positive home learning environment. Additionally, higher maternal perceptions of child readiness to read mediates the relationships between higher maternal self-efficacy and a more positive home literacy environment. Moreover, these findings highlight the link between home learning environment and children's receptive vocabulary skills. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2018

The role of teachers' comments during book reading in children's vocabulary growth
Barnes, Erica Marie; Dickinson, David K.; Grifenhagen, Jill F.;

This study described the commenting practices of Head Start teachers, and the relationship of comments to the expressive and receptive vocabulary growth of children with below-the-mean language ability across one year of preschool. Participants included 52 Head Start teachers, and 489 children (247 early intervention candidates and 242 Head Start typical). Descriptive analyses reveal that teachers used informative comments that gave or explained information more frequently than comments that responded to children's utterances, and that these comments contained more conceptually focused content than vocabulary or skills content. Responsive and conceptually focused comments were significantly related to the children's receptive vocabulary growth, and were moderated by children's initial language ability indicating the presence of the Matthew Effect. These findings underscore the importance of integrating instructional comments into book reading sessions, and the need to differentiate instruction based on children's initial vocabulary sizes. Practical implications are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2017

Effects of receiving multiple early intervention services on children's language, literacy, and general development
Han, Jisu; Neuharth-Pritchett, Stacey;

This study examined the effects of receiving multiple intervention services on the language, literacy, and general development of preschool children from low-income families. By employing a hierarchical linear model on a sample of 1436 children, developmental outcomes of four-year-old children receiving varying numbers of intervention services were compared: Pre-Kindergarten only (pre-K), pre-K + Early Reading First (ERF), and pre-K + ERF + Head Start. Results indicated that the additive ERF service was related to gains in alphabet knowledge. Being in classrooms with the three intervention programmes was negatively associated with receptive vocabulary knowledge and name writing skills. Participating in additional intervention programmes was not a significant predictor of any of the general developmental outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2017

Inequality, preschool education and cognitive development in Ethiopia: Implication for public investment in pre-primary education
Woldehanna, Tassew;

This study used longitudinal data from the Young Lives Project in Ethiopia to examine the main factors relating to preschool access and their potential effects on cognitive performance of children aged five and eight years. The results show that only one quarter of the preschool-aged children have the opportunity to attend this vital stage of education, with significant disparities by family wealth, education and regional location. Regardless of its limited coverage, preschool attendance is shown to have statistically significant positive effects on cognitive performance, measured by receptive vocabulary and mathematics tests. The effects do not also seem to fade away at a later age, as the inequality in cognitive abilities at age five continues to exist at the age of eight. Furthermore, using mediation analyses, causal chains between family backgrounds and cognitive performance were thoroughly analyzed. Bootstrap results show that preschool attendance mediates about one third of the direct effects of family wealth, education and regional location on child cognitive performance. Nevertheless, despite the importance of preschool education, public investment in this area is currently very limited, with the private sector taking the key role and exacerbating the inequality that exists between children of the rich and poor. These findings thus emphasize the need for government involvement in the form of public investment to this subsector to increase access for all children and reduce future educational inequalities. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2016

Absenteeism in Head Start and children's academic learning
Ansari, Arya; Purtell, Kelly M.;

Using nationally representative data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 cohort (n = 2,842), this study examined the implications of 3- and 4-year-old's absences from Head Start for their early academic learning. The findings from this study revealed that children who missed more days of school, and especially those who were chronically absent, demonstrated fewer gains in areas of math and literacy during the preschool year. Moreover, excessive absenteeism was found to detract from the potential benefits of quality preschool education and was especially problematic for the early learning of children who entered the Head Start program with a less developed skill set. Implications for policy and practice are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July/August 2018

The transition from preschool to first grade: A transactional model of development
Goble, Priscilla; Eggum-Wilkens, Natalie D.; Bryce, Crystal I.; Foster, Stacie A.; Hanish, Laura; Martin, Carol Lynn; Fabes, Richard A.;

Transactional relations between children's positive social interaction skills, school engagement, and academic achievement were examined using a longitudinal panel model across the transition from preschool to first grade. Participants were Head Start children (N = 241; 49% girls, [mean] age = 53 months, range 45-60); 78% were Mexican/Mexican-American; 82% of families were of low socioeconomic status. Head Start children's positive social interaction skills and academic achievement in preschool were positively related to kindergarten school engagement, positive social interaction skills and school engagement influenced one another over time, and academic achievement was positively related to positive social interaction skills from preschool to kindergarten. A small, but significant, transactional effect of preschool academic achievement on first-grade school engagement through kindergarten positive social interaction skills was found. Findings from the current study provide support for previously undocumented longitudinal relations between positive social interaction skills, school engagement, and academic achievement for Head Start children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March/April 2017

Do parents know "high quality" preschool when they see it?
Bassok, Daphna; Markowitz, Anna J.; Player, Daniel; Zagardo, Michelle;

High quality early childhood education (ECE) programs can lead to substantial benefits for children, however many children are not attending programs of sufficient quality to yield meaningful developmental gains. To address this problem, states have increasingly turned to Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), early childhood accountability systems that aim to improve ECE quality through incentives, supports, and information campaigns. Such informational interventions hinge on the assumption that parents are currently unable to assess ECE quality. This study examines the validity of this assumption, which is largely untested to date, using data from a sample of low-income families with four-year-olds attending publicly-funded ECE programs. We examine whether parents' evaluation of their child's program is explained by an extensive set of quality measures including: observational measures of the quality of classroom instruction; measures of children's learning gains; measures of structural quality; and measures of program convenience. We find that parents' evaluations of their program were not systematically related with any of the measures of quality, corroborating this key assumption of QRIS, and suggest that there may be a role for informational interventions in ECE markets. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2017

Quality of social and physical environments in preschools and children's development of academic, language, and literacy skills
Mashburn, Andrew J.;

This study examined associations between quality of social and physical environments in preschools and children's development of academic, language, and literacy skills, and the extent to which preschool quality moderated the associations between child risk and development. Participants were a diverse sample of 540 four-year-old children in Georgia who attended Head Start, the Georgia Pre-Kindergarten Program, or private preschools. Controlling for children's gender, family income, race/ethnicity, preschool program type, and pretest performance, high-quality social environments were positively associated with children's academic and literacy skills at the end of preschool. Quality of the physical environment was not associated with children's outcomes at the end of preschool; however, higher quality physical environments moderated the negative associations between income and academic development and between non-White race/ethnicity and literacy development. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2008

Emotion regulation, language ability, and the stability of preschool children's peer play behavior
Cohen, Jeremy S.; Mendez, Julia L.

This study examined the stability of preschoolers' peer play behavior across the school year and the relations between emotion regulation, receptive vocabulary, and the trajectory of social competence deficits. Participants were 331 preschool children attending Head Start; they were primarily African American and from a low-SES background. Peer play behavior was moderately stable from fall to spring. Analyses revealed that emotional lability in the fall was associated with consistently maladaptive and declining social competence. Furthermore, children who exhibited stable maladaptive behavior had lower receptive language skills and emotion regulation in the fall than children who exhibited consistently adaptive behavior. Preschool children with comorbid externalizing and internalizing behaviors during peer play were at the greatest risk for consistent peer play difficulties or declining social competence over the course of the year compared to their peers. Practice: The present study informs practices for identifying at-risk preschoolers shortly after entry into an early education experience. Moreover, the findings suggest that without effective interventions, those at-risk children are likely to exhibit consistently poor social competence over time. Implications for the use of early intervention and prevention targeting specific behavioral and peer problems are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2009

Early physical health conditions and school readiness skills in a prospective birth cohort of U.S. children
Kull, Melissa A.; Coley, Rebekah Levine;

Rationale: Extant research identifies associations between early physical health disparities and impaired functioning in adulthood, but limited research examines the emergence of these associations in the early years of children's lives. Objective: This study draws on data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort (ECLS-B; N = 5900) to assess whether a host of early health indicators measured from birth to age five are associated with children's cognitive and behavioral skills at age five. Results: After adjusting for child and family characteristics, results revealed that children's neonatal risks (prematurity or low birth weight) and reports of poor health and hospitalizations were associated with lower cognitive skills, and neonatal risks and poor health predicted lower behavioral functioning at age five. Some of the association between neonatal risks and school readiness skills were indirect, functioning through children's poor health and hospitalization. Analyses further found that associations between early physical health and children's school readiness skills were consistent across subgroups defined by family income and child race/ethnicity, suggesting generalizability of results. Conclusions: Findings emphasize the need for more interdisciplinary research, practice, and policy related to optimizing child well-being across domains of physical health and development in the early years of life. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October, 2015

Improving school readiness: A multi-systemic examination of early childhood education
Sabol, Terri J.;

The present dissertation takes a multi-systemic approach to examining early childhood education, focusing on the child, classroom, and policy features in early childhood education settings that have the strongest potential to prepare children for school entry. Study 1 examines the extent to which a person-oriented approach to conceptualizing and assessing school readiness forecasts development in elementary school. Study 1 finds that six distinct profiles of 54-month school readiness patterns predict outcomes in 5th grade with indications of cross-domain association between 54-month performance and later functioning. Study 2 examines the relations between preschool classroom quality, measured by the ECERS-R, and child outcomes, and the extent to which there is a threshold in which the relation becomes stronger or weaker. Using a large, nationally representative dataset, Study 2 detects few direct relations or evidence for thresholds in the association between ECERS-R and age 5 outcomes. The association between quality and reading outcomes is stronger for children with sociodemographic risk. Study 3 examines relations between program quality and outcomes within a policy context. More specifically, Study 3 assesses the validity of Virginia's QRIS, the Virginia Star Quality Initiative (VSQI), by examining associations between 71 targeted pre-kindergarten programs in the VSQI and growth in pre-literacy skills. Findings indicate that children in higher-rated pre-kindergarten programs have sharper literacy growth in the preschool year compared to children in lower rated programs. Collectively, the studies in this proposal are complementary in that they each contribute to the larger question of how to improve children's readiness for school; however, they vary in study design, measures, and the focus within the early childhood system. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2011

Learning to count: Structured practice with spatial cues supports the development of counting sequence knowledge in 3-year-old English-speaking children
Dunbar, Kristina; Ridha, Aala; Cankaya, Ozlem; Lira, Carolina Jimenez; LeFevre, Jo-Anne

Research Findings: Children who speak English are slower to learn the counting sequence between 11 and 20 compared to children who speak Asian languages. In the present research, we examined whether providing children with spatially relevant information during counting would facilitate their acquisition of the counting sequence. Three-year-olds (n = 54) who played a 1-20 number board game in which numbers were grouped by decade into 2 rows learned significantly more of the counting sequence than children who played a linear version of the game or those who were in the control group. Both the row and linear versions of the game helped children improve their performance on an object counting task. Children's performance on a number line task did not show an effect of either game intervention. Practice or Policy: These results suggest that counting practice that includes spatially informative cues can facilitate young English-speaking children's learning of the challenging number sequence from 11 to 20. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April, 2017

Children's socio-emotional, physical, and cognitive outcomes: Do they share the same drivers?
Sanson, Ann; Smart, Diana; Misson, Sebastian

It is commonly asserted that the same, or similar, risk factors are associated with a wide range of problematic child and adolescent outcomes such as educational, social and emotional problems, and poor health. This argument underpins calls for preventive approaches that target common causal drivers. However, the argument rests largely on the compilation of findings from multiple studies of single outcomes. Growing Up in Australia, the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, is one of relatively few studies that can directly test this proposition within the one dataset. The same neighbourhood, child care, school, family, and child factors measured at 4-5 and 6-7 years were used to predict children's social/emotional, physical, and learning outcomes at 8-9 years, allowing assessment of commonalities in the predictors of each outcome. Results showed that the 'common drivers' proposition generally applied, but there were also unique factors associated with each outcome. Implications for intervention are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2011

Compared to what?: Variation in the impacts of early childhood education by alternative care type
Feller, Avi; Grindal, Todd; Miratrix, Luke W.; Page, Lindsay C.;

Early childhood education research often compares a group of children who receive the intervention of interest to a group of children who receive care in a range of different care settings. In this paper, we estimate differential impacts of an early childhood intervention by alternative care type, using data from the Head Start Impact Study, a large-scale randomized evaluation. To do so, we utilize a Bayesian principal stratification framework to estimate separate impacts for two types of Compliers: those children who would otherwise be in other center-based care when assigned to control and those who would otherwise be in home-based care. We find strong, positive short-term effects of Head Start on receptive vocabulary for those Compliers who would otherwise be in home-based care. By contrast, we find no meaningful impact of Head Start on vocabulary for those Compliers who would otherwise be in other center-based care. Our findings suggest that alternative care type is a potentially important source of variation in early childhood education interventions. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

September, 2016

Evaluating public programs with close substitutes: The case of Head Start
Kline, Patrick; Walters, Christopher R.;

We use data from the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS) to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Head Start, the largest early childhood education program in the United States. Head Start draws roughly a third of its participants from competing preschool programs, many of which receive public funds. We show that accounting for the fiscal impacts of such program substitution pushes estimates of Head Start's benefit-cost ratio well above one under a wide range of assumptions on the structure of the market for preschool services and the dollar value of test score gains. To parse the program's test score impacts relative to home care and competing preschools, we selection-correct test scores in each care environment using excluded interactions between experimental assignments and household characteristics. We find that Head Start generates larger test score gains for children who would not otherwise attend preschool and for children who are less likely to participate in the program. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2016

Predictors of infant and toddler Black boys' early learning: Seizing opportunities and minimizing risks
Iruka, Iheoma U.

Using the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) data set (U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, 2001), this study examined child, family, and community factors in the early years (infant and toddler years) to predict the cognitive and language outcomes for preschool-age Black boys in relation to Black girls and White boys. Findings indicate that Black children face many challenges, with Black boys experiencing less sensitive parenting as compared to their peers. We live in a highly complex, racialized environment. While there are universal indicators that predict children's preschool outcomes such as strong social positioning and positive parenting, there are, in addition, some indicators that are more beneficial for Black boys' early development, including a stable, less urban home environment with parents engaging in "tough love." (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January/February 2017

Trajectories of parental involvement in home learning activities across the early years: Associations with socio-demographic characteristics and children's learning outcomes
Hayes, Nicole; Berthelsen, Donna C.; Nicholson, Jan M.; Walker, Sue;

This study examined the socio-demographic factors associated with trajectories of parental involvement in shared book reading and other home activities for children aged 2-6 years. The study uses data from 3836 families participating in Growing up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Latent growth curve models were estimated to describe associations between trajectories of parental involvement, socio-demographic factors, and children's learning outcomes. Higher levels of parental involvement at 2 years were associated with better learning outcomes at 6 years. On average, the frequency of parental involvement in home learning activities decreased over time. Family socio-economic disadvantage and being a male child were associated with lower levels of parental involvement at age 2 years, and more rapid decreases in parental involvement in home activities over time. Continued attention is needed to identify effective strategies that can address inequalities in children's home learning opportunities before children begin school. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October, 2018

Multigenerational Head Start participation: An unexpected marker of progress
Chor, Elise

One-quarter of the Head Start population has a mother who participated in the program as a child. This study uses experimental Head Start Impact Study (HSIS) data on 3- and 4-year-olds (N = 2,849) to describe multigenerational Head Start families and their program experiences. In sharp contrast to full-sample HSIS findings, Head Start has large, positive impacts on cognitive and socioemotional development through third grade among the children of former participant mothers, including improved mathematics skills and reductions in withdrawn and aggressive behavior. Evidence suggests that differences in program impacts between single- and multigenerational Head Start families are driven largely by differences in family resources and home learning environments. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January/February 2018

Family and social risk, and parental investments during the early childhood years as predictors of low-income children's school readiness outcomes
Mistry, Rashmita S.; Benner, Aprile D.; Biesanz, Jeremy C.; Clark, Shaunna L.; Howes, Carollee

Using data from the National Early Head Start (EHS) Research and Evaluation Project (N= 1851), the current study examined relations among cumulative family and social risk, assessed during infancy and the preschool years, and children's prekindergarten achievement, self-regulatory skills, and problematic social behavior, testing if these associations were mediated through two sets of family processes--responsive parenting practices and the provision of language stimulation and literacy practices. Structural equation modeling results highlight the significance of the timing of children's experience of risk in predicting school readiness competencies. Risk exposure during infancy was observed to be most detrimental for children's school readiness skills and was partially mediated by risk exposure during the preschool years and family processes, assessed during toddlerhood and the preschool years. Moderation analyses revealed no difference in the strength of relationships among the study variables by EHS assignment or by race/ethnicity. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2010

Associations between inattention, hyperactivity and pre-reading skills before and after formal reading instruction begins
Dittman, Cassandra K.

Concurrent associations between teacher ratings of inattention, hyperactivity and pre-reading skills were examined in 64 pre-schoolers who had not commenced formal reading instruction and 136 school entrants who were in the first weeks of reading instruction. Both samples of children completed measures of pre-reading skills, namely phonological awareness, phonological memory, rapid naming, and letter name knowledge, as well as a measure of verbal ability. School entrants also completed measures of letter sound knowledge and beginning word identification skills. Teachers completed rating scales of inattention and hyperactivity. In the preschool sample, teacher-rated inattention and hyperactivity were not correlated with measures of children's phonological processing but were correlated with letter name knowledge. In comparison, inattention, but not hyperactivity, was independently related to all measures of school entrants' phonological processing and alphabet knowledge and their knowledge of high frequency words. Structural equation modelling on the school entrant sample revealed that the relationship between inattention and beginning word identification was mediated by pre-reading skills, suggesting that attention problems may compromise reading development during the earliest stages of learning to read through their impact on pre-reading skills. The findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the consideration of inattention in the design of effective and engaging early childhood learning environments. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2016

Is dosage important?: Examining Head Start preschoolers' language and literacy learning after one versus two years of ExCELL
Hindman, Annemarie H.; Wasik, Barbara A.;

The current study examined whether Head Start children who experienced a high-quality preschool intervention, Exceptional Coaching for Early Language and Literacy (ExCELL), as three-year-olds began the subsequent pre-kindergarten (or four-year-old) year with stronger language and literacy skills than same-age peers who entered ExCELL in pre-kindergarten, as well as whether any differences remained at the end of the pre-kindergarten year. A total of 159 Head Start preschoolers participated, including 88 four-year-olds who had 1 year of ExCELL and 71 four-year-olds who had participated in ExCELL for 2 years. All children were assessed on language and literacy measures assessing vocabulary, alphabet knowledge, and phonemic awareness. Results showed that children who experienced ExCELL at age 3 had stronger vocabulary, sound awareness, and alphabet skills at the start of the pre-kindergarten year than peers who were new to the programme. However, there were few differences between these groups in their learning over time, and they concluded the pre-kindergarten year on equal footing. Thus, two years (at ages 3 and 4) of participation in the ExCELL intervention was not associated with better early-reading-related outcomes than one, pre-kindergarten year (at age 4) alone. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March/April 2017

Impacts of the Boston prekindergarten program on the school readiness of young children with special needs
Weiland, Christina;

Theory and empirical work suggest inclusion preschool improves the school readiness of young children with special needs, but only 2 studies of the model have used rigorous designs that could identify causality. The present study examined the impacts of the Boston Public prekindergarten program--which combined proven language, literacy, and mathematics curricula with coaching--on the language, literacy, mathematics, executive function, and emotional skills of young children with special needs (N = 242). Children with special needs benefitted from the program in all examined domains. Effects were on par with or surpassed those of their typically developing peers. Results are discussed in the context of their relevance for policy, practice, and theory. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2016

Supporting inferential thinking in preschoolers: Effects of discussion on children's story comprehension
Collins, Molly F.

This study examines the effects of low- and high- cognitive demand discussion on children's story comprehension and identifies contributions of discussion, initial vocabularies, and parent reading involvement. A total of 70 English learner preschoolers took baseline vocabulary tests in Portuguese and English, were randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions, and were read pairs of books in small groups. In the experimental condition, 1 book per pair was discussed using low- cognitive demand (literal) talk. The other was discussed using high-cognitive demand (inferential) talk. In the control condition, books were read aloud without discussion. All children took story comprehension tests (new literal and inferential questions) following books' third readings. Findings showed significant effects of discussion on comprehension. Repeated measures analyses indicated significant effects of high-demand discussion on both question types, particularly inferential questions. Regression indicated significant contributions of high-demand discussion beyond English vocabulary and home reading. Practice or Policy: High-demand discussion significantly influences chigldren's inferential thinking skill, contributes benefits over and above expected impacts of initial vocabulary, and may offer benefits over low-demand talk for literal details. Teachers need not wait to engage young language learners in cognitively challenging discussion. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October, 2016

BPS K1DS: Piloting the Boston Public Schools' prekindergarten model in community-based organizations: Final report
Yudron, Monica; Weiland, Christina;

In the 2009-2010 school year, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) prekindergarten model (called K1) had the highest level of instructional quality of any evaluated large-scale prekindergarten in the U.S. (Weiland, Ulvestad, Sachs, & Yoshikawa, 2013). BPS K1 has proven positive impacts on children's language, literacy, mathematics, and executive function skills at kindergarten entry (Weiland & Yoshikawa, 2013). The K1 model combines two evidence-based curricula in prekindergarten classrooms--one focused on language and literacy instruction and the other on mathematics instruction--with regular coaching and training supports for teachers. Boston K1DS (K1 in Diverse Settings) was a 2.5-year pilot demonstration project to expand the nationally recognized BPS K1 model to 14 community-based preschool classrooms. This partnership between BPS, Thrive in 5, and community-based organizations (CBO) aimed to build a high quality, private- and city-funded network of early childhood pre-K classrooms to expand access for families, close the achievement gap, and improve academic outcomes for Boston children living in the Circle of Promise and East Boston. The pilot began in January 2013 and concluded in June 2015. This report summarizes the activities and findings of the project. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

February, 2016

Changes in parents' spanking and reading as mechanisms for Head Start impacts on children
Gershoff, Elizabeth; Ansari, Arya; Purtell, Kelly M.; Sexton, Holly R.;

This study examined whether Head Start, the nation's main two-generation program for low-income families, benefits children in part through positive changes in parents' use of spanking and reading to children. Data were drawn from the 3-year-old cohort of the national evaluation of the Head Start program known as the Head Start Impact Study (N = 2,063). Results indicated that Head Start had small, indirect effects on children's spelling ability at Age 4 and their aggression at Age 4 through an increase in parents' reading to their children. Taken together, the results suggest that parents play a role in sustaining positive benefits of the Head Start program for children's behavior and literacy skills, one that could be enhanced with a greater emphasis on parent involvement and education. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

June, 2016

Teacher-child racial/ethnic match within pre-kindergarten classrooms and children's early school adjustment
Downer, Jason T.; Goble, Priscilla; Myers, Sonya; Pianta, Robert C.;

Using a large, longitudinal data set that represents 701 state-funded pre-k classrooms and over 2,900 children enrolled in 11 states, the current study examined two hypotheses: (1) children would be perceived to be better adjusted at the beginning of pre-k when rated by a same-race teacher than by a different-race teacher, and (2) children would demonstrate greater gains during the pre-k year when in the classroom of a same-race teacher. Children rarely experienced a teacher with a different race/ethnicity from themselves, except in the case of African American or Latino children attending Caucasian teachers' classrooms. When examining the school readiness outcomes of African American or Latino children matched or mismatched racially/ethnically with their teacher, racial/ethnic match demonstrated significant associations with the direct assessment of academic skills for Latino children only. However, teachers' initial perceptions of children and teacher reported social and academic gains were significantly associated with racial/ethnic match for African American children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q4 2016

Do bilingual children possess better phonological awareness?: Investigation of Korean monolingual and Korean-English bilingual children
Kang, Jennifer Yusun

This study examined whether there are bilingual advantages in terms of phonological awareness (PA) for children acquiring two phonologically and orthographically different alphabetic languages and investigated the emergent literacy factors that explain variances in their PA, in comparison to monolingual children. The study participants comprised seventy 5- to 6-year-old Korean-English bilingual children who had attended English-medium kindergartens for at least 2 years and fifty-six Korean monolingual children whose age and L1 oral language proficiency were matched to the bilingual participants. They were tested on a range of PA and emergent literacy skill measures including decoding skills in both Korean and English. The study findings indicated that (1) the bilingual children had a bilingual advantage in PA tasks in both L1 and L2, (2) there was language transfer in processing L1 and L2 PA for both bilingual and monolingual children, and (3) the PA of the two groups was explained by different factors. The results are discussed in terms of language-specific L1 characteristics and the potential effects of instructional differences in language arts. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

February, 2012

The relationship between emotion knowledge, emotion regulation and adjustment in preschoolers: A mediation model
Di Maggio, Rosanna; Zappulla, Carla; Pace, Ugo

The study explored the total, direct and indirect effects of emotion knowledge on adjustment in preschoolers and examined whether emotion regulation mediated the relationships between emotion knowledge and adjustment (social competence, and behavioral difficulties, such as anxiety-withdrawal and anger-aggression). Two hundred forty children (118 boys and 122 girls) from 3 to 5 years of age (mean age = 4.23, SD = .80) were administered a vocabulary test to check their verbal ability and a measure of emotion knowledge. Teachers filled out two questionnaires about children's regulation and adjustment variables. A mediation model was tested combined with an assessment of the indirect effects to evaluate whether emotion knowledge may exert an influence on adjustment through the intervention of emotion regulation. Results showed that all conditions for full mediation were met for social competence and anxiety-withdrawal, confirming the mediation role of emotion regulation in the relationship between emotion knowledge and these variables. Moreover, results indicated that emotion knowledge and anger-aggression were not directly associated as they would be in case of full or partial mediation, but they were however indirectly related through a significant linking with emotion regulation. Findings may have potential implications for prevention and intervention programs in family and school contexts, suggesting how early childhood programs targeting emotion knowledge may be especially beneficial to promote social competence and prevent behavioral problems, above all if they include other emotion-related competences, such as emotion regulation, that may be considered the linking mechanism through which emotion knowledge exerts an influence on adjustment. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2016

Mother-child interaction quality in shared book reading: Relation to child vocabulary and readiness to read
Bojczyk, Kathryn E.; Davis, Anna E.; Rana, Verda

Past research has indicated that parent-child book reading interaction quality, not just quantity, is a relevant consideration in children's vocabulary acquisition. In particular, children's active participation is considered key. This study investigated links between maternal beliefs about shared reading strategies and children's readiness to learn to read, mothers' observed shared reading behaviors, and children's vocabulary sizes. Participants were 62 mothers and their preschool children attending Head Start. Mother-child book reading was observed, and mothers' beliefs were measured via self-report and ratings of videotaped vignettes portraying reading strategies. Children's expressive and receptive vocabularies were assessed. Results revealed that dyadic shared reading quality mediated the link between mothers' beliefs and children's expressive, but not receptive, vocabulary. Further, mothers' perceptions of children's readiness to learn to read moderated the link between mother's beliefs and shared reading quality. This evidence highlights the importance of maternal beliefs in guiding behaviors that facilitate preschoolers' vocabulary development. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2016

Quality rating and improvement systems: Secondary data analyses of psychometric properties of scale development
Burchinal, Margaret; Soliday-Hong, Sandra; Sabol, Terri J.; Forestieri, Nina; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Tarullo, Louisa B.; Zaslow, Martha;

The results of this secondary data analysis simulating a QRIS validation using six large early care and education datasets demonstrate several issues that should be considered when constructing, validating, and making changes to existing quality ratings. First, QRIS are developed from logic models that involve multiple outcome areas such as improving children's outcomes, professionalization of the workforce, family engagement, and ECE systems building. The analyses reported here suggest that separate QRIS rating scales will be needed for each of these dimensions unless they are highly correlated. Second, selection of the quality indicators should be based on the consistency and magnitude of effects in research literature. The QRIS rating is more likely to accurately measure quality when there is good evidence that we know how to measure the included quality indicators in a manner that predicts desired outcomes for the QRIS. Third, use of validated professional guidelines for defining the cut-points in the rating scales can maintain the information in the selected quality measures as they are converted into ratings to form the QRIS score. Results from this secondary data analysis suggest that a QRIS score reflecting classroom quality based on these principles predicts small but significant gains in children's academic outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May, 2016

Pre-K classroom-economic composition and children's early academic development
Miller, Portia; Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth; McQuiggan, Meghan; Shaw, Alyssa

There are currently 2 principal models of publicly funded prekindergarten programs (pre-K): targeted pre-K, which is means-tested, and universal pre-K. These programs often differ in terms of the economic characteristics of the preschoolers enrolled. Studies have documented links between individual achievement in school-age children and the economic composition of classroom peers, but little research has revealed whether these associations hold in pre-K classrooms. Using data from 2,966 children in 709 pre-K classrooms, we examined whether classroom-economic composition (i.e., average family income, standard deviation of incomes, and percentage of students from low-income households) relates to achievement in preschool. Furthermore, this study investigated whether associations between classroom-economic composition and achievement differed depending on initial academic skill level. Increased economic advantage in pre-K classrooms positively predicted spring achievement. Specifically, increasing aggregate classroom income between $22,500 and $62,500 was related to improvements in math scores. Increases in the proportion of children from low-income households in the classroom were negatively related to both math and literacy and language skills when increases occurred between 52.5% and 72.5% and 25% and 45%, respectively. There was limited evidence that links between classroom-economic composition and achievement differed depending on initial skill level. Results suggest that economically integrated pre-K programs may be more beneficial to preschoolers from low-income households' achievement than classrooms targeting economically disadvantaged children. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

February, 2017

Children's preschool classroom experiences and associations with early elementary special education referral
Buckrop, Jordan; Roberts, Amy M.; LoCasale-Crouch, Jennifer;

There is a growing body of research demonstrating the association between high quality preschool and improved child outcomes; however, few studies have considered special education referral as a child outcome. This study examined whether four specific aspects of the preschool classroom experience (child engagement, global classroom interaction quality, closeness and conflict in teacher-child relationships) predicted special education referral in early elementary school. Participants were 959 preschoolers in 240 classrooms across 6 states. Of the four aspects of the preschool experience explored, higher levels of conflict in the preschool teacher-child relationship related to greater special education referral in elementary school. Associations between aspects of the preschool classroom experience and special education referral were not moderated by demographic risk. These results imply that relationships play a key role in a child's preschool experience and reasons for potential conflict in teacher-child relationships should be more closely examined. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2016

Testing for quality thresholds and features in early care and education
Burchinal, Margaret; Xue, Yange; Auger, Anamarie; Tien, Hsiao-Chuan; Mashburn, Andrew J.; Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S.; Cavadel, Elizabeth; Zaslow, Martha; Tarullo, Louisa B.;

In this chapter, we report on the analyses focusing on both quality thresholds and quality features. First, we address questions about quality thresholds, using two analytic approaches. The analyses ask whether there is evidence suggesting thresholds in the association between a specific quality measure and a specific child outcome. Second, we extend these analyses to ask whether each child outcome is more strongly related to global quality measures or to quality measures that measure teacher-child interactions or quality of instruction in a given content area. The research to date provides the basis for the articulation of two hypotheses related to quality thresholds and features: (1) the quality of ECE is a stronger predictor of residualized gains in child outcomes in classrooms with higher quality than in classrooms with lower quality and (2) more specific measures of quality are stronger predictors of residualized gains in child outcomes than are global measures. We turn now to analyses intended to address these hypotheses by using data from several data sets. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

June, 2016

Thresholds in the association between quality of teacher-child interactions and preschool children's school readiness skills
Hatfield, Bridget E.; Burchinal, Margaret; Pianta, Robert C.; Sideris, John;

The present study examines the extent to which the association between school readiness skills and preschool classroom quality is higher in classrooms in which quality is above a threshold than when quality is below that threshold. A sample of 222 teachers and 875 children participated in a large, multi-site study. Classroom quality was defined as effective teacher-child interactions and measured by the Classroom Assessment Scoring System. Children's language, literacy, and inhibitory control were assessed in the fall and spring. Using predetermined thresholds for high quality, associations between quality and children's skills in inhibitory control and phonological awareness were greater when CLASS Emotional Support was rated higher, while associations between quality and skills in literacy (phonological awareness and print knowledge) were greater in classrooms in which CLASS Classroom Organization scores were higher. Effect sizes were moderate to large (d = 0.43-0.84) for associations between outcomes and quality in the higher quality ranges. Empirical approaches to identify thresholds, indicated relations between inhibitory control and both Classroom Organization and Emotional Support as higher when teacher-child interactions were rated as more effective. These results contribute to emerging evidence that features of classroom experience, such as qualities of teacher-child interactions, are more strongly associated with higher levels of children's school readiness skills when the nature of those experiences (i.e., interactions) are in the upper ranges of the distribution. However, the evidence reported herein do not warrant recommendations for specific thresholds and inconsistencies in the study's findings in comparison to previous research require further investigation before direct implications for thresholds in quality would be warranted. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2016

Comparing public, private, and informal preschool programs in a national sample of low-income children
Coley, Rebekah Levine; Votruba-Drzal, Elizabeth; Collins, Melissa A.; Cook, Kyle Demeo;

Recent research has found that center-based early education and care (EEC) programs promote gains in cognitive skills for low-income children, but knowledge is limited concerning diverse types of EEC arrangements. This paper contrasts the primary EEC arrangements (Head Start, public centers, private centers, and home care) attended by economically disadvantaged children in the US with data on 4250 low-income children from the nationally-representative ECLS-B cohort. Results found public centers and Head Start programs provided children with the most educated and highly trained teachers and with the most enriching learning activities and global quality, with private centers showing moderate levels and home EEC very low levels of quality. Nonetheless, after adjusting for differential selection into EEC through propensity score weighting, low-income children who attended private EEC centers showed the highest math, reading, and language skills at age 5, with children attending Head Start and public centers also showing heightened math and reading skills in comparison to children experiencing only parent care. No differences were found in children's behavioral skills at age five in relation to EEC type. Results support enhanced access to all center preschool programs for low-income children, and suggest the need for greater understanding of the processes through which EEC affects children's school readiness skills. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q3 2016

Preschool contexts and teacher interactions: Relations with school readiness
Goble, Priscilla; Hanish, Laura; Martin, Carol Lynn; Eggum-Wilkens, Natalie D.; Foster, Stacie A.; Fabes, Richard A.;

The majority of early education programs promote children's learning through a mix of experiences in child- and teacher-managed contexts. The current study examined time spent in child- and teacher-managed contexts and the nature of children's experiences with teachers in these contexts as they relate to children's skill development. Participants were preschool children (N = 283, [mean] age = 52 months, 48% girls, 70% Mexican or Mexican American) from families of a lower socioeconomic status. Observations captured children's time in child- and teacher-managed contexts and experiences with teachers in each context. School readiness was assessed directly and through teacher reports. Research Findings: Time spent in teacher-managed contexts was positively related to children's academic and social skill development. Experiences in child-managed context predicted vocabulary, math, and social skills when teachers were directly involved with children. Overall, the findings suggest that teacher engagement is related to positive outcomes even during child-managed activities. Practice or Policy: Given these findings, preservice and professional development programs for early childhood educators should have a component that focuses on how to enhance the teacher's role during child-managed activities. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

July, 2016

The role of parent education and parenting knowledge in children's language and literacy skills among White, Black, and Latino families
Rowe, Meredith L.; Denmark, Nicole Marie; Harden, Brenda Jones; Stapleton, Laura M.;

This study investigated the role of parenting knowledge of infant development in children's subsequent language and pre-literacy skills among White, Black and Latino families of varying socioeconomic status. Data come from 6,150 participants in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. Mothers' knowledge of infant development was measured when children were 9 months old, and child language and pre-literacy skills were measured during the fall of the preschool year prior to Kindergarten when children were approximately four years old. Mothers' knowledge of infant development was uniquely related to both maternal education and race/ethnicity. Reported sources of parenting information/advice also varied by education and race/ethnicity and were related to parenting knowledge. Further, controlling for demographic factors, parenting knowledge partially mediated the relation between parent education and child language and pre-literacy skills, and this relation differed by race/ethnicity. One way to eliminate socioeconomic status achievement gaps in children's early language and literacy skills may be to focus on parents' knowledge of child development, particularly in Latino families. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March/April 2016

Mandarin-English bilingual vocabulary development in an English-immersion preschool: How does it compare with monolingual development?
Lin, Lu-Chun; Johnson, Cynthia J.;

Aims and objectives: A common phenomenon in many Asian countries is parents enrolling their preschoolers in bilingual or English-immersion programs to provide a head start in learning English. A frequently raised concern is that learning English too early can hamper children's language development. This study examined the receptive and expressive vocabularies of children in an English-immersion preschool in Taiwan and compared their receptive and expressive vocabulary skills to those of their monolingual peers. Methodology: Mandarin receptive and expressive vocabulary tests were individually administered to 25 bilingual Mandarin-English-speaking and 24 monolingual Mandarin-speaking 5-year-olds, while standardized English receptive and expressive vocabulary tests were given to the bilinguals only. Data analysis: Multivariate analysis of variance and one-sample t-tests were performed to determine whether the bilinguals showed a gap in the development of receptive and expressive vocabulary compared to Mandarin monolingual peers or to English monolingual norms. Follow-up analyses were further conducted to determine differences between the bilingual and monolingual groups on specific vocabulary items. Findings and conclusions: Findings corroborate previous studies that show relatively smaller receptive and expressive vocabularies in bilinguals' L1 and L2. Follow-up analyses further suggest the circumstance-specific and distributed nature of bilingual vocabulary. Possible explanations proposed in the literature and the present study provide an insight into the nature of bilingual vocabulary development. Originality and implications: The present study provides a preliminary understanding of Mandarin-English vocabulary development in a group of bilingual preschoolers learning English in an English-as-a-foreign language-immersion program, a less-studied context. Insight into the nature of bilingual vocabulary development in different contexts should enable concerned parents and language educators to provide language-rich home and school environments, with exposure to a variety of words and support for learning translation equivalents. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April, 2016

Differential effectiveness of Head Start in urban and rural communities
McCoy, Dana Charles; Morris, Pamela A.; Connors, Maia C.; Gomez, Celia J.; Yoshikawa, Hirokazu;

Recent research suggests that Head Start may be differentially effective in improving low-income children's early language and literacy skills based on a number of individual- and family-level characteristics. Using data from the Head Start Impact Study (n = 3503; 50% male, 63% treatment group), the present study extends this work to consider program impact variation based on centers' location in urban versus rural communities. Results indicate that Head Start is more effective in increasing children's receptive vocabulary (as measured by the PPVT) in urban areas and their oral comprehension (as measured by the Woodcock-Johnson Oral Comprehension task) in rural areas. Additional analyses suggest that related characteristics of the center -- including concentration of dual language learners and provision of transportation services -- may underlie these associations. Implications for research on program evaluation and policy are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March/April 2016

Targeted or universal coverage?: Assessing heterogeneity in the effects of universal childcare
Kottelenberg, Michael J.; Lehrer, Steven F. (Steven Fredrick);

We extend earlier research evaluating the Quebec Family Policy by providing the first evidence on the distributional effects of universal child care on two specific developmental outcomes. Our analysis uncovers substantial policy relevant heterogeneity in the estimated effect of access to subsidized child care across two developmental score distributions for children from two-parent families. Whereas past research reported findings of negative effects on mothers and children from these families, igniting controversy, our estimates reveal a more nuanced image that formal child care can indeed boost developmental outcomes for children from some households: particularly disadvantaged single-parent households. In addition, we document significant heterogeneity that differs by child gender. We present suggestive evidence that the heterogeneity in policy effects that emerges across child gender and family type is consistent with differences in the home learning environments generated by parents behaviors that are previously present and are shaped by responses to the policy. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

March, 2016

Home visit quality variations in two Early Head Start programs in relation to parenting and child vocabulary outcomes
Roggman, Lori A.; Cook, Gina A.; Innocenti, Mark S.; Norman, Vonda K. Jump; Boyce, Lisa K.; Christiansen, Katie; Peterson, Carla A.;

Home-visiting programs aiming to improve early child development have demonstrated positive outcomes, but processes within home visits to individual families are rarely documented. We examined family-level variations in the home-visiting process (N = 71) from extant video recordings of home visits in two Early Head Start programs, using an observational measure of research-based quality indicators of home-visiting practices and family engagement, the Home Visit Rating Scales (HOVRS). HOVRS scores, showing good interrater agreement and internal consistency, were significantly associated with parent- and staff-reported positive characteristics of home visiting as well as with parenting and child language outcomes tested at program exit. When home-visiting processes were higher quality during the program, home visit content was more focused on child development, families were more involved in the overall program, and most important, scores on measures of the parenting environment and children's vocabulary were higher at the end of the program. Results showed that home visit quality was indirectly associated with child language outcomes through parenting outcomes. Observation ratings of home visit quality could be useful for guiding program improvement, supporting professional development, and increasing our understanding of the links between home-visiting processes and outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

May/June 2016

Independent contributions of mothers' and fathers' language and literacy practices: Associations with children's kindergarten skills across linguistically diverse households
Sims, Jacqueline; Coley, Rebekah Levine

Home language and literacy inputs have been consistently linked with enhanced language and literacy skills among children. Most studies have focused on maternal inputs among monolingual populations. Though the proportion of American children growing up in primarily non-English-speaking homes is growing and the role of fathers in early development is increasingly emphasized, less is known about these associations in primarily non-English-speaking households or how mothers and fathers independently contribute to children's skills. Using a subsample of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (N = 5,450), this study assessed the frequency of maternal and paternal inputs during early childhood and their prospective connections with children's English language and literacy skills at age 5 across White, Mexican, and Chinese children from linguistically diverse households. Analyses revealed significant differences in inputs by ethnic/language group membership and significant associations between both maternal and paternal inputs and children's skills. These associations did not differ across ethnic/language group membership. Practice or Policy: These results point to the importance of promoting rich home language and literacy environments across diverse households regardless of the language in which they take place or the parent from which they derive. (author abstact)

Reports & Papers

May, 2016

Classroom age composition and the school readiness of 3- and 4-year-olds in the Head Start program
Ansari, Arya; Purtell, Kelly M.; Gershoff, Elizabeth;

The federal Head Start program, designed to improve the school readiness of children from low-income families, often serves 3- and 4-year-olds in the same classrooms. Given the developmental differences between 3- and 4-year-olds, it is unknown whether educating them together in the same classrooms benefits one group, both, or neither. Using data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 cohort, this study used a peer-effects framework to examine the associations between mixed-age classrooms and the school readiness of a nationally representative sample of newly enrolled 3-year-olds (n = 1,644) and 4-year-olds (n = 1,185) in the Head Start program. Results revealed that 4-year-olds displayed fewer gains in academic skills during the preschool year when they were enrolled in classrooms with more 3-year-olds; effect sizes corresponded to 4 to 5 months of academic development. In contrast, classroom age composition was not consistently associated with 3-year-olds' school readiness. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2016

The Alaska Pilot Pre-Kindergarten Project (AP3): Project evaluation -- Year one
Alaska. Department of Education and Early Development;

In addition to its primary purpose of providing project evaluation information on the Alaska Pilot Pre-Kindergarten Project (AP3), this document provides a brief review of some of the last decade's early childhood education initiatives in Alaska, as well as a description of grantee and site selection for this project. An outline of each grantee's approach to the project and the partnerships they have formed to provide for its success is included. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

03 January, 2011

Self-regulation and task engagement as predictors of emergent language and literacy skills
Bohlmann, Natalie L.; Downer, Jason T.

Research Findings: A growing emphasis in the literature on children's self-regulation signals the need for increased understanding of the ways in which young children become active players in the acquisition of knowledge. In particular, self-regulation may be linked to subsequent academic achievement through greater engagement with the learning tasks and activities made available in the preschool classroom. This study tested preschoolers' (N = 603) observed task engagement in the classroom as mediating the relations between directly assessed self-regulation and changes in their language and literacy outcomes during the preschool year. Findings indicate that self-regulation is directly related to observed task engagement as well as changes in a host of language and literacy skills. Engagement with tasks and activities in the classroom also partially mediates the association between self-regulation and changes in expressive vocabulary. Mediation through task engagement was not found for receptive language or early literacy skills. Practice or Policy: Findings suggest that the development and evaluation of clearly articulated preschool curricula designed to promote academic achievement by fostering self-regulation is an important direction for future research. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2016

Kindergarten readiness impacts of the Arkansas Better Chance state prekindergarten initiative
Hustedt, Jason T.; Jung, Kwanghee; Barnett, W. Steven; Williams, Tonya;

Enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs prior to kindergarten entry has become increasingly common. As each state develops its own model for pre-K, rigorous studies of the impacts of state-specific programs are needed. This study investigates impacts of the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) initiative at kindergarten entry using a regression-discontinuity design. In this approach, study selection criteria are known and modeled, rather than simply comparing children who attended ABC with potentially dissimilar children who did not attend. Statistically significant impacts of ABC pre-K participation were found across three key academic domains related to children's kindergarten readiness--vocabulary, mathematics, and print awareness skills. These results suggest that the ABC pre-K program is effective and thus that it provides a potential model for expansion of large-scale public pre-K initiatives in other states. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

December, 2015

Will public pre-K really close achievement gaps?: Gaps in prekindergarten quality between students and across states
Valentino, Rachel A.;

Publicly funded pre-K has often been touted as a means to narrow the achievement gap, but this goal is much less likely to be achieved if poor/minority children do not, at a minimum, attend equal quality pre-K as their non-poor/non-minority peers. In this paper I find large "quality gaps" in public pre-K between poor/minority students and non-poor/non-minority students, ranging from 0.3 to 0.7 SD on a range of classroom observational measures. I also find that even after adjusting for a series of classroom characteristics, significant and sizable quality gaps remain. Finally, I find much between-state variation in gap magnitudes, and that state-level quality gaps are related to state-level residential segregation. These findings are particularly troubling if a goal of public pre-K is to minimize inequality. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

2015

Evaluating public programs with close substitutes: The case of Head Start
Kline, Patrick; Walters, Christopher R.;

This paper empirically evaluates the cost-effectiveness of Head Start, the largest early-childhood education program in the United States. Using data from the Head Start Impact Study (HSIS), we show that Head Start draws roughly a third of its participants from competing preschool programs that receive public funds. This both attenuates measured experimental impacts on test scores and reduces the program's net budgetary costs. A calibration exercise indicates that accounting for the public savings associated with reduced enrollment in other subsidized preschools substantially increases estimates of Head Start's rate of return, defined as the after-tax lifetime earnings generated by an extra dollar of public spending. Control function estimation of a semi-parametric selection model reveals substantial heterogeneity in Head Start's test score impacts with respect to counterfactual care alternatives as well as observed and unobserved child characteristics. Head Start is about as effective at raising test scores as competing preschools and its impacts are greater on children from families less likely to participate in the program. Expanding Head Start to new populations is therefore likely to boost the program's rate of return, provided that the proposed technology for increasing enrollment is not too costly. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

October, 2015

Does Head Start differentially benefit children with risks targeted by the program's service model?
Miller, Elizabeth B.; Farkas, George; Duncan, Greg J.;

Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 3540) were used to test for differential benefits of Head Start after one program year and after kindergarten on pre-academic and behavior outcomes for children at risk in the domains targeted by the program's comprehensive services. Although random assignment to Head Start produced positive treatment main effects on children's pre-academic skills and behavior problems, residualized growth models showed that random assignment to Head Start did not differentially benefit the pre-academic skills of children with risk factors targeted by the Head Start service model. The models showed detrimental impacts of Head Start for maternal-reported behavior problems of high-risk children, but slightly more positive impacts for teacher-reported behavior. Policy implications for Head Start are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

Q1 2016

Two randomized trials provide no consistent evidence for nonmusical cognitive benefits of brief preschool music enrichment
Mehr, Samuel A.; Schachner, Adena; Katz, Rachel C.; Spelke, Elizabeth;

Young children regularly engage in musical activities, but the effects of early music education on children's cognitive development are unknown. While some studies have found associations between musical training in childhood and later nonmusical cognitive outcomes, few randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been employed to assess causal effects of music lessons on child cognition and no clear pattern of results has emerged. We conducted two RCTs with preschool children investigating the cognitive effects of a brief series of music classes, as compared to a similar but non-musical form of arts instruction (visual arts classes, Experiment 1) or to a no-treatment control (Experiment 2). Consistent with typical preschool arts enrichment programs, parents attended classes with their children, participating in a variety of developmentally appropriate arts activities. After six weeks of class, we assessed children's skills in four distinct cognitive areas in which older arts-trained students have been reported to excel: spatial-navigational reasoning, visual form analysis, numerical discrimination, and receptive vocabulary. We initially found that children from the music class showed greater spatial-navigational ability than did children from the visual arts class, while children from the visual arts class showed greater visual form analysis ability than children from the music class (Experiment 1). However, a partial replication attempt comparing music training to a no-treatment control failed to confirm these findings (Experiment 2), and the combined results of the two experiments were negative: overall, children provided with music classes performed no better than those with visual arts or no classes on any assessment. Our findings underscore the need for replication in RCTs, and suggest caution in interpreting the positive findings from past studies of cognitive effects of music instruction. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

December, 2013

Are approaches to learning in kindergarten associated with academic and social competence similarly?
Razza, Rachel A.; Martin, Anne; Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne

Approaches to learning (ATL) is a key domain of school readiness with important implications for children's academic trajectories. Interestingly, however, the impact of early ATL on children's social competence has not been examined. Objective This study examines associations between children's ATL at age 5 and academic achievement and social competence at age 9 within an at-risk sample. We tested whether ATL followed a compensatory growth model (was most helpful to those with the fewest skills) with respect to academics, and a cumulative advantage model (was most helpful to those with the most skills) with respect to socioemotional outcomes. Methods Participants (n = 669) were drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a predominantly low-income, minority sample. Models regressing age 9 academic and social competence on age 5 ATL tested for moderation of ATL by age 5 levels of competence within each domain. Results ATL was associated with both academic (i.e., reading and math achievement) and social (i.e., externalizing problems and social skills) competence. Interestingly, ATL was more advantageous with respect to externalizing problems for children with higher initial levels of competence (fewer problem behaviors), but more advantageous for academic competence for children with lower initial levels of competence. Conclusions Findings highlight the importance of early ATL for both academic and social success and support it as a critical intervention target. While ATL may help narrow the achievement gap for at-risk children, reducing the gap in externalizing problems may require targeted strategies for those with high early problem behavior. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

December, 2015

Parent involvement in Head Start and children's development: Indirect effects through parenting
Ansari, Arya; Gershoff, Elizabeth;

The authors examined the extent to which parent involvement in Head Start programs predicted changes in both parent and child outcomes over time, using a nationally representative sample of 1,020 three-year-old children over 3 waves of the Family and Child Experiences Survey. Center policies that promote involvement predicted greater parent involvement, and parents who were more involved in Head Start centers demonstrated increased cognitive stimulation and decreased spanking and controlling behaviors. In turn, these changes in parenting behaviors were associated with gains in children's academic and behavioral skills. These findings suggest that Head Start programs should do even more to facilitate parent involvement because it can serve as an important means for promoting both parent and child outcomes. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

April, 2016

Longitudinal effects of a two-generation preschool programme on receptive language skill in low-income Canadian children to age 10 years
Mughal, Muhammad Kashif; Ginn, Carla S.; Perry, Robert L.; Benzies, Karen;

We explored longitudinal effects of a two-generation preschool programme on receptive language scores in children (n = 78) at age 10 years, living with low income. Scores at four time-points, programme intake, exit, age 7, and age 10 years were measured using the Peabody picture vocabulary test (3rd ed.). Effects of culture (Aboriginal, other Canadian-born, and recent immigrant), and gender of the children were explored. Between programme intake and age 10, scores improved significantly, F(3, 75) = 21.11, p < .0005. There were significant differences among cultural groups at all time-points except age 10. Scores differed significantly for girls, but not boys, at age 10, F = 5.11, p = .01. Recent immigrant boys reached the Canadian average, while girls were two-thirds of the standard deviation below average. Early intervention programmes must include a focus on the unique circumstances of recent immigrant girls; supportive transition workers in schools are one recommendation. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

August, 2016

Emotion-based preventive intervention: Effectively promoting emotion knowledge and adaptive behavior among at-risk preschoolers
Finlon, Kristy J.; Izard, Carroll E.; Seidenfeld, Adina M.; Johnson, Stacy R.; Cavadel, Elizabeth; Ewing, E. Stephanie Krauthamer; Morgan, Judith K.;

Effectiveness studies of preschool social-emotional programs are needed in low-income, diverse populations to help promote the well-being of at-risk children. Following an initial program efficacy study 2 years prior, 248 culturally diverse Head Start preschool children participated in the current effectiveness trial and received either the Emotion-Based Prevention Program (EBP) or the I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) intervention. Pre- and postdata collection included direct child assessment, teacher report, parent interview, and independent observations. Teachers implementing the EBP intervention demonstrated good and consistent fidelity to the program. Overall, children in EBP classrooms gained more emotion knowledge and displayed greater decreases in negative emotion expressions and internalizing behaviors across the implementation period as compared to children in ICPS classrooms. In addition, cumulative risk, parental depressive symptoms, and classroom climate significantly moderated treatment effects. For children experiencing more stress or less support, EBP produced more successful outcomes than did ICPS. These results provide evidence of EBP sustainability and program effectiveness, as did previous findings that demonstrated EBP improvements in emotion knowledge, regulation skills, and behavior problems replicated under unsupervised program conditions. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2015

Visuomotor integration and inhibitory control compensate for each other in school readiness
Cameron, Claire E.; Brock, Laura L.; Hatfield, Bridget E.; Cottone, Elizabeth A.; Rubinstein, Elise; LoCasale-Crouch, Jennifer; Grissmer, David;

Visuomotor integration (VMI), or the ability to copy designs, and 2 measures of executive function were examined in a predominantly low-income, typically developing sample of children (n = 467, mean age 4.2 years) from 5 U.S. states. In regression models controlling for age and demographic variables, we tested the interaction between visuomotor integration (design copying) and inhibitory control (pencil-tap) or verbal working memory (digit span) on 4 directly assessed academic skills and teacher-reported approaches to learning. Compared with children with both poor visuomotor integration and low inhibitory control, those on the higher end of the continuum in at least 1 of these 2 skills performed better across several dependent variables. This compensatory pattern was evident for longitudinal improvement in print knowledge on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL), with similar though marginally significant findings for improvement in phonological awareness (TOPEL) and teacher-rated approaches to learning on the Preschool Learning Behaviors Scale (PLBS). Of note, the same compensatory pattern emerged for concurrently measured receptive vocabulary on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), expressive vocabulary on the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ), TOPEL phonological awareness, and teacher-rated approaches to learning. The consistent pattern of results suggests that strong visuomotor integration skills are an important part of school readiness, and merit further study. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

November, 2015

Peer effects on Head Start children's preschool competency
DeLay, Dawn; Hanish, Laura; Martin, Carol Lynn; Fabes, Richard A.;

The goals of this study were to investigate whether young children attending Head Start (N = 292; [mean] age = 4.3 years) selected peers based on their preschool competency and whether children's levels of preschool competency were influenced by their peers' levels of preschool competency. Children's peer interaction partners were intensively observed several times a week over 1 academic year. Social network analyses revealed that children selected peer interaction partners with similar levels of preschool competency and were influenced over time by their partners' levels of preschool competency. These effects held even after controlling for several child (e.g., sex and language) and family factors (e.g., financial strain and parent education). Implications for promoting preschool competency among Head Start children are discussed. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

January, 2016

The effectiveness of a technologically facilitated classroom-based early reading intervention
Amendum, Steve; Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Ginsberg, Marnie;

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a classroom-teacher-delivered reading intervention for struggling readers called the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI), designed particularly for kindergarten and first-grade teachers and their struggling students in rural, low-wealth communities. The TRI was delivered via an innovative Web-conferencing system using laptop computers and webcam technology. Seven schools from the southwestern United States were randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions in a cluster randomized design. All children in the study (n = 364) were administered a battery of standardized reading skill tests in the fall and spring of the school year. Intent-to-treat analyses were conducted to estimate mixed models of children's 1-year growth in Word Attack, Letter/Word Identification, Passage Comprehension, and Spelling of Sounds. Results showed that struggling readers from experimental schools outperformed those from control schools on all spring reading outcomes, controlling for fall scores. (author abstract)

Reports & Papers

September, 2011