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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Determining Early Childhood Program Costs and Benefits


December 8, 2017
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

A new review from Rand providing research on the costs and benefits of programs to support early childhood development indicates there is vast room for improvement—not just in programs, but in the application of economic analysis to these programs. Too often, BCA becomes a tool for advocacy for existing programs rather than for understanding and…

AI/AN: Infusing PreK Curriculum with Tribal Culture


November 29, 2017
Jessica Barnes-Najor and Ann Cameron

Early childhood education research has rarely focused on supporting young children in tribal communities, hampering our capacity to understand and advocate for the kinds of high-quality practices grounded in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) culture that can make a positive difference in children’s lives. Despite these challenges, many tribes across the country are striving…

Tight Budgets Force Hard Choices Among Child Care Providers


November 21, 2017
David Lowenberg

This blog originally appeared on the Education Writers Association website  following the EWA Covering Early Learning conference in Chicago. “An impossible equation.” That’s how Phil Acord describes the challenge of keeping afloat a high-quality early learning program that serves children from low-income families. As the president of the Chambliss Center for Children, a nonprofit organization that provides around-the-clock care…

Talking the Talk on High-Quality Pre-K


November 15, 2017
GG Weisenfeld and Michelle Ruess

More than 50 years of research shows investing in the early years of a child’s life often produces a high rate of return by positively impacting a child’s readiness at kindergarten entry and future achievement in elementary school, high school, college, and adulthood. Indeed, high-quality early education is one of the best investments we can…

Building a Better Classroom Experience


November 8, 2017
Kaitlin Northey

Learn to read. Learn to make friends. Learn to add. Learn to follow directions. The early learning “To Do List” is filled with academic and social-emotional milestones. Whether young learners acquire these skills depends a great deal on what happens in their classrooms with their teachers. To help teachers provide instruction that is both developmentally…

Using Digital Tools to Connect with Vulnerable Families and Improve Child Outcomes


October 18, 2017
Shayna Cook

This blog originally appeared on the New America website

More than Home Visits: Lessons from the AVANCE two-generation program


October 12, 2017
Milagros Nores, Ph.D.

Two-generation approaches to early learning promise so much, don’t they? The idea is that at-risk children’s needs may be more effectively served when intervening with parent and child simultaneously. Home visiting programs are the most common examples, based on the idea that at-risk families may be better served by supporting their existing home structure. Research…

Keeping Pace in State PreK


October 3, 2017
Jim Squires, Ph.D.

As much as I loved my first car, a blue 1960 Nash Rambler station wagon, it became evident as newer, more efficient vehicles rolled off the assembly line, the once-innovative model had run its course. Initially reluctant to trade it in, I was pleasantly surprised when my newer Plymouth wagon allowed me to actually keep…

Using Data-Driven Indicators to Improve Outcomes for Young Learners


September 20, 2017
Rolf Grafwallner

The early years of child development offer a still-untapped lever for states to address achievement gaps before they start to grow, and to accelerate school improvement efforts with evidence-based interventions. While there are political, fiscal, and technical challenges to doing so, there are a variety of steps states can take today, aided by the flexibility…

States Lack Information, Policy for Young Dual Language Learners


September 15, 2017
Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Ph.D.

As national attention turns to issues of diversity and inclusion, it is important to keep the youngest learners in our country at the forefront of educational policy making decisions. Hispanic children account for the largest proportion of minorities among children ages 5 and younger in the US, and many of their families do not speak…