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Peer-reviewed policy briefs & in-depth policy analysis

Policy Briefs

A Review of the Reason Foundation’s Report on Preschool and Kindergarten


October 1, 2006 AccessOutcomesUniversal and Targeted

An analysis by NIEER of the Reason Foundation's report Assessing proposals for preschool and kindergarten: Essential information for parents, taxpayers and policymaker.

Policy Report – Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility


October 1, 2006 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This policy report examines the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the United States.

Policy Brief – Increasing the Effectiveness of Preschool Programs


July 1, 2006

This policy brief reviews research on the inputs contributing to quality and the features of preschool programs that impact children's learning and development.

Policy Brief – Early Literacy: Policy and Practice in the Preschool Years


April 1, 2006 AssessmentOutcomesQuality and CurriculumWorkforce

Early literacy plays a key role in enabling the kind of early learning experiences that research shows are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life. This policy brief synthesizes the body of professional knowledge about early literacy and offers research-based recommendations.

Policy Report – Making the Most of Kindergarten


March 1, 2005 Governance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & LocalWorkforce

This policy report examines academic and social outcomes of half-day versus full-day kindergarten and trends in provision of full-day programs. Recommendations include balancing anticipated gains from expanding kindergarten schedules against cost considerations and developing classroom and teacher support strategies when moving to full-day.

Policy Report – Overlooked Benefits of Prekindergarten


March 1, 2005 Economics and FinanceOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

Studies suggest that prekindergarten can strengthen a child’s commitment and attitude toward school, enhance the parenting skills of children’s parents, and have positive impacts on family relationships. This policy report summarizes research findings about these wider benefits of early education.

Policy Report – Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does “Readiness” Mean?


March 1, 2005 AssessmentOutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This policy report examines key issues for public policy related to school readiness, the relationship between school readiness and other factors in young children’s lives, and challenges in readying children for kindergarten.

Policy Report – Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool Education


March 1, 2005 OutcomesQuality and CurriculumSpecial Education

This policy report describes the importance of social and emotional development of children, reviews the evidence that high-quality preschool can promote social and emotional development, and describes characteristics of programs most likely to benefit children.

Policy Report – The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children


March 1, 2005 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesQuality and CurriculumState & Local

This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families. Recommendations include expanding publicly funded preschool programs to include middle-income children and strengthening standards for child care and early education programs.

Policy Brief – Class Size: What’s the Best Fit?


December 1, 2004 AccessEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityQuality and CurriculumState & Local

This policy brief examines how class size and staff-child ratios affect quality, educational effectiveness, and cost of preschool programs.