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Research reports on early education from NIEER and outside organizations

Research Reports

Preschool Education Studies: A Bibliography Organized by Research Strengths


February 1, 2007
W. Steven Barnett

This paper explains how to read and understand the various types of research methods used in studying preschool education programs.

The Effects of the Arkansas Better Chance Program on Young Children’s School Readiness


January 1, 2007 OutcomesState & LocalState Pre-K Evaluations

NIEER study of Arkansas' state-funded preschool education program shows significant improvement in the early language, literacy and mathematical development of 4-year-old children.

The Economic Consequences of Early Childhood Education on the School System


July 1, 2006
Clive R. Belfield and Heather Schwartz

This paper presents research on the economic impacts of preschool on school systems.

Is More Better? The Effects of Full-Day vs Half-Day Preschool on Early School Achievement


May 1, 2006 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum
Kenneth B. Robin, Ellen C. Frede, & W. Steven Barnett

This NIEER working paper presents the findings of a randomized trial comparing the effects of extended-day, extended-year public preschool to half-day public preschool on children’s literacy and mathematics learning.

Does It Pay to Invest in Preschool for All? Analyzing Return-on-Investment in Three States


March 1, 2006 AccessEconomics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityState & LocalUniversal and Targeted
Clive R. Belfield

This NIEER working paper summarizes three studies projecting the economic consequences of expanding preschool programs toward universal enrollment in three states - Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Estimated Impacts of Number of Years of Preschool Attendance on Vocabulary, Literacy and Math Skills at Kindergarten Entry


March 1, 2006 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum

This study estimates the effects of attending preschool for one or two years on measures of early vocabulary development, literacy and math skills shortly after children entered kindergarten.

Increasing the Effectiveness of Preschool Programs


March 1, 2006 Governance and AccountabilityOutcomesQuality and CurriculumState & Local
Debra J. Ackerman and W. Steven Barnett

This report reviews research on the inputs contributing to quality, features of programs that impact children’s learning and development, and current state policies related to these characteristics.

The Macroeconomics of Pre-Schooling: Simulating the Effects of Universal Early Childhood Education on the U.S. Economy


March 1, 2006 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityOutcomesState & Local
Clive R. Belfield and Andre Neveu

In this NIEER working paper, the authors use a general equilibrium macroeconomic model to estimate the economic consequences of a large-scale, publicly-funded preschool program.

What Impacts Does Preschool Education Have on Personal Responsibility and Related Social Behavior?


March 1, 2006 OutcomesQuality and Curriculum
Karen L. Schulman and W. Steven Barnett

Several studies show that high-quality preschool education programs influence attitudes and behaviors with respect to school, family, work, and community not just during the early years of life, but into adulthood. While summarizing key discoveries regarding the benefits of preschool participation, the authors of this NIEER report recommend further research to clarify the how preschool programs can produce the greatest long-term benefits for children’s social and emotional development and life choices.

How Much Does Quality Preschool Cost?


March 1, 2006 Economics and FinanceGovernance and AccountabilityState & Local

There is abundant evidence demonstrating that states should fund quality preschool programs. However, there is less research available to suggest how much funding is necessary for programs to achieve their desired effects. This NIEER report presents current state spending on preschool, identifies some aspects of programs that are clearly related to cost, and offers estimates of the state commitment necessary to achieve various levels of access and quality.