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The effects of teacher professional development on children's attendance in preschool

Student absenteeism is a widespread and critical issue in early childhood education. Current efforts to reduce student absenteeism in both preschool and K-12 settings have largely been family- and parent- focused interventions. Yet, interventions targeting teachers and schools may similarly be effective tools to improve student attendance. We utilize data from a large-scale, experimental evaluation of an early childhood professional development intervention to examine whether it impacted children's absenteeism and chronic absenteeism. Although the professional development targeted the quality of teacher-child interactions and did not target children's absenteeism, we find that the professional development reduced student absence rates by 1.0 percentage points (equivalent to approximately an additional 1.9 days of preschool). The professional development also reduced chronic absenteeism by 6.0 percentage points. Impacts were concentrated among lower-income children. Implications for policies targeting student absenteeism in preschool settings are discussed. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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