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Helping parents navigate the early childhood enrollment process: Experimental evidence from New Orleans

Resource Type: Reports & Papers
Author(s): Weixler, Lindsay Bell; Valant, Jon; Bassok, Daphna; Doromal, Justin B.; Gerry, Alica;
Date Issued: 23 June, 2020
Publisher(s): Education Research Alliance for New Orleans
Description: Enrolling in publicly funded early childhood education involves searching for programs, applying, verifying eligibility, and registering with the program. Many families do not complete this process, despite demonstrated interest. In this study, we assessed support for families as they verify eligibility as a means for increasing enrollment completion rates. Working with district administrators, we randomly assigned families to receive either: (1) the district's usual, modest communications, (2) the usual communications plus weekly text-message reminders with a formal tone, or (3) the usual communications plus weekly personalized, friendly text-message reminders. Text-message reminders increased verification rates by seven percentage points (regardless of tone), and personalized messages increased enrollment rates for some groups. Exchanges between parents and administrators revealed the obstacles parents confronted. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): Laura and John Arnold Foundation ; Walton Family Foundation ; Heckscher Foundation ; National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program ; Institute of Education Sciences (U.S.)
Source: Education Research Alliance for New Orleans. https://educationresearchalliancenola.org/files/publications/20200623-Technical-Report-Gerry-et-al-Increasing-Access-to-Head-Start-Through-Text-Messages.pdf
Note: Updated June 23, 2020; Published December 31, 2018
Topics: Parents & Families

Policies > Child Care & Early Education Policies > Subsidies
Country: United States
States: LOUISIANA
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