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The NIEER blog reporting on research, policy, and practice

Preschool Matters Today

Quality Preschool is Key to Stronger, Fairer New Jersey


January 18, 2018
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

First published in NJ Spotlight This year marks the 20th anniversary of what has been called the Abbott preschool program—a national and international model of high-quality, effective, preschool education that, despite its success, has yet to be offered to most children in New Jersey. For almost a decade, New Jersey led the nation in improved outcomes for…

Let’s Focus Less on ‘Leaders’ and More on Leadership


January 10, 2018
Anne L. Douglass and Stacie G. Goffin

Many of us tend to think of leadership as a formal position with a job title, such as school principal or center director. A recent NIEER news item focusing on a new Early Childhood Clearinghouse report, “Closing the Leadership Gap: 2017 Status Report on Early Childhood Program Leadership in the United States,” is a good example. In calling attention to the report, NIEER writes that past efforts to collect data on the early childhood…

CEELO turns 5, looks to future


December 21, 2017 FederalState & LocalWorkforce
Jana Martella and Lori Connors-Tadros Ph.D.

Five. It’s an important year in the early childhood continuum, and it is a good time reflect on the journey and look forward to what’s ahead. One of 22 Comprehensive Centers funded by the U.S. Department to provide technical assistance to State Education Agencies (SEAs), the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO) was provided an extended opportunity to continue working with…

Determining Early Childhood Program Costs and Benefits


December 8, 2017 Economics and FinanceOutcomes
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 AccessFederalOutcomes
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 Economics and Finance
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…