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Research on economic benefits and costs of quality preK programs and facilities

Economics and Finance

Public Pre-K Financial Landscape


September 2016
Richard Kasmin

The view of preschool as welfare influences the way preschool education is financed and helps explain why the US doesn’t offer every child a quality preschool education. Preschool funding is much more heavily dependent on a patchwork of federal programs — a tradition more reflective of social insurance programs than public education, which is primarily…

Implementing 15 Essential Elements for High Quality: A State and Local Policy Scan


July 2016
W. Steven Barnett, G.G. Weisenfeld, Kirsty Clarke Brown, Jim Squires, and Michelle Horowitz

In this report we explore the extent to which 41 states, the District of Columbia, and three large cities support high-quality state-funded preschool education. The framework for our assessment of state capacity is provided by “15 essential elements” of high-quality pre-K. These can be categorized into three clusters: enabling environment, rigorous policies, and strong practices….

Expanding Access to Quality Pre-K is Sound Public Policy


December 2013

In 2013, preschool education received more attention in the media and public policy circles than it has for some time, in part because of a series of high-profile proposals to expand access to quality pre-K.  The scientific basis for these proposed expansions of quality pre-K is impressive.  This paper brings to bear the full weight…

Getting the Facts Right on Pre-K and the President’s Pre-K Proposal


February 2013
W. Steven Barnett

This policy report clears up some common misconceptions about preschool's effectiveness and benefits, particularly in regards to the Obama administration's recent fact sheet on investing in early education.

Investing in Early Childhood Education: A Global Perspective


November 2012
W. Steven Barnett and Milagros Nores

NIEER Director Steve Barnett presented the key note address at an international conference on “Early Childhood: Secure Childhood. Promising Future” at Princess Nora University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  His presentation and paper, jointly authored with NIEER Assistant Research Professor Milagros Nores, was titled Investing in Early Childhood Education: A Global Perspective.

Preschool Education as an Educational Reform: Issues of Effectiveness and Access


September 2011
W. Steven Barnett

In this paper for the National Research Council and U.S. Equity and Excellence Commission, NIEER Director Steve Barnett looks at studies that provide rigorous estimates of the effects of some large scale, state-funded pre-K programs – both targeted and universal.  Using available data on preschool access in the United States, Dr. Barnett also provides estimates on pre-K enrollment by family income and the costs of providing educationally effective pre-K programs to all children.

Policy Brief – Improving Public Financing For Early Learning Programs


April 2011

This brief reviews sources and models of public financing of early care and education and makes recommendations for improving upon what currently exists so as to remove barriers to increasing program access and quality.

Early Education Enrollment and Expenditure Patterns 1995-2005


December 2010

These papers report on enrollments and expenditures for ECCE across the decade from 1995 to 2005 using three harmonized National Household Education Surveys. They explore the metrics of enrollment patterns by age of child, mother’s employment, marital status, expenditure patterns and prices paid per hour of services.

Investing in Young Children: New Directions in Federal Preschool and Early Childhood Policy


October 2010

Ron Haskins and Steve Barnett focus on Early Head Start, Head Start, and home visiting programs in this collection of papers they edit. Promising recommendations include closing ineffective Head Start centers or giving other program operators the opportunity to compete for Head Start.

Funding cuts to state-funded prekindergarten programs in FY10 & 11


August 2010

National Institute for Early Education Research Co-Director Steve Barnett and Research Professor Dale Epstein estimate the cuts in state funding for prekindergarten across fiscal years 2010 and 2011.