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

Quality and Curriculum

Policy Brief – Early Literacy: Policy and Practice in the Preschool Years


April 2006

Early literacy plays a key role in enabling the kind of early learning experiences that research shows are linked with academic achievement, reduced grade retention, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life. This policy brief synthesizes the body of professional knowledge about early literacy and offers research-based recommendations.

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


March 2006

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 2006
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.

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


March 2006
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.

Policy Report – Overlooked Benefits of Prekindergarten


March 2005

Studies suggest that prekindergarten can strengthen a child’s commitment and attitude toward school, enhance the parenting skills of children’s parents, and have positive impacts on family relationships. This policy report summarizes research findings about these wider benefits of early education.

Policy Report – Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does “Readiness” Mean?


March 2005

This policy report examines key issues for public policy related to school readiness, the relationship between school readiness and other factors in young children’s lives, and challenges in readying children for kindergarten.

Policy Report – Promoting Children’s Social and Emotional Development Through Preschool Education


March 2005

This policy report describes the importance of social and emotional development of children, reviews the evidence that high-quality preschool can promote social and emotional development, and describes characteristics of programs most likely to benefit children.

Policy Report – The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children


March 2005

This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families. Recommendations include expanding publicly funded preschool programs to include middle-income children and strengthening standards for child care and early education programs.

Policy Brief – Better Teachers, Better Preschools: Student Achievement Linked to Teacher Qualifications


December 2004

High-quality preschool education depends on effective, high-quality teachers. This brief presents educational requirements for preschool teachers, reviews evidence on the importance of teacher qualifications, and offers policy recommendations.

Policy Brief – Class Size: What’s the Best Fit?


December 2004

This policy brief examines how class size and staff-child ratios affect quality, educational effectiveness, and cost of preschool programs.