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Research on elements of quality of preK, links between quality and outcomes, and inclusion

Quality and Curriculum

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….

How Much Can High-Quality Universal Pre-K Reduce Achievement Gaps?


April 2016

Many children of color and children from low-income families enter kindergarten without the academic skills they need to succeed. Compared to their white peers, African American and Hispanic children are anywhere from 9 to 10 months behind in math and 7 to 12 months behind in reading when they enter kindergarten. These achievement gaps are concerning:…

Responses to Top Concerns about Common Core State Standards


April 2015
Kirsty Clarke Brown, Editor

A collection of blog posts from early childhood education experts, on concerns about Common Core State Standards in early childhood education, including selected resources for parents and educators. You can link to the first post in the series here:  http://preschoolmatters.org/2015/03/26/top-concerns-about-common-core-st… and click on the sidebar there for March and April to find other posts.

Technical Report: Kindergarten Early Learning Scale


September 2014
Shannon Riley-Ayers, Kwanghee Jung, & Jorie Quinn

The Kindergarten Early Learning Scale (KELS) was developed as a concise observational assessment for young children. It examines three domains including (1) Math/Science, (2) Social Emotional/Social Studies, and (3) Language and Literacy, with a total of 10 items across the domains. Scores reported for each of the 10 items are based upon observational evidence collected by the teacher over a period of roughly three months. This [report] outlines how decisions about the content of the instrument were made, based on several criteria, and the value of the instrument. The items assessed represent the development of kindergarten children, are measurable (observable), develop on a continuum (to see growth and development over time), and are critical to present and future learning.

The State of Infant-Toddler Care and Education in New Jersey


December 2013
Judith M. Y. Alexandre, Natalie Makow, Kwanghee Jung, Steve Barnett

In this report to New Jersey Council for Young Children (NJCYC) Department of Education, researchers present the results of two studies of the quality of child care received by infants and toddlers in New Jersey which addressed the following questions: What is the quality of infant and toddler center-based care in New Jersey?  What is the quality of this infant/toddler care in each of the twenty one counties?  What are some common strengths and weaknesses of infant and toddler center-based care?

Fact Sheet: The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES)


December 2013

Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, the seventh year of implementation of the high-quality pre-K program in New Jersey's Abbott districts, NIEER began a longitudinal study to measure learning gains from participating in Abbott pre-K.  At the time the study began, quality had risen but not yet to its current level, and 40,500 3- and 4-year-old children were served. This fact sheet presents key takeaways from NIEER's longitudinal study of the program quality and child outcomes.

Trends in State Funded Preschool Programs: Survey Findings from 2001-2002 to 2011-2012


June 2013
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D. and Megan E. Carolan, MPP

This policy report, co-released by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the Center on Enhancing Early Learning Outcomes (CEELO), discusses trends in enrollment, funding, and quality standards, as well as English Language Learner and Special Education students, in state-funded pre-K between 2001-2002 and 2011-2012.

The Essex Quality Improvement Project (EQUIP)


June 2013
Judith Marie Yves Alexandre, Natalie Makow, Kwanghee Jung, W. Steven Barnett

A survey of the quality of infant and toddler child care in Essex County (including Newark, Orange, Irvington and East Orange) finds that high quality care is scarce, especially for infants.  Poor quality care is far too common. Recommendations for improvement are offered based on a study of the determinants of care quality in Essex County.

Early Childhood Education: Pathways to Better Health


April 2013

This brief presents the multiple pathways through which early childhood education programs can contribute to better health, in both the short and long term.

Policy Brief – Preparing Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners for a Knowledge Economy


January 2013

This brief addresses issues of preschool access and quality that are specific to Hispanic children but which can also apply to some other largely disadvantaged and immigrant groups.