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Policy Landscapes

NIEER's policy landscapes offer detailed insights into early childhood education policies, enrollment, and funding nationwide. Advocates, policymakers, and researchers rely on them to improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood education.

State of Preschool Yearbook

The State of Preschool survey has been the nation's sole survey tracking state-funded preschool enrollment, spending, and policies since 2002. It monitors aspects such as class size, eligibility, and teacher qualifications annually, evaluating programs against ten research-based quality standards. The findings are compiled at both national and state levels in the annual State of Preschool Yearbook. This report significantly influences informed decisions and promotes effective early childhood education (ECE) policies for education administrators and policymakers.


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State(s) of Head Start and Early Head Start

Our 2016 State(s) of Head Start report was the first to provide a state-by-state look at access, funding, program components, and quality in Head Start and Early Head Start. Our 2022 report took a look at equity of access to Head Start and Early Head Start nationally, and state-by-state. These insights are the foundation for understanding Head Start's impact on children's readiness for school. Join us in delving deep into the world of Head Start. 

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Early Learning in Cities

Our national report has been a catalyst in revealing a rising trend in major U.S. cities pioneering local Pre-K funding. However, many programs fall short of quality standards, leaving eligible children underserved. To help City leaders implement high-quality, research-based programs that are accessible to all, NIEER teamed up with Cityhealth to create a report that guides localities in enhancing early learning experiences for lasting benefits. The report leverages NIEER's analysis, using 10 benchmarks from NIEER's State of Preschool report, combined with CityHealth's practical award ranking system to help cities explore a comprehensive view of their program quality. 

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The State(s) of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education

Introducing the first-ever equity-centered report examining federally funded programs for young children with disabilities – Early Intervention (EI) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). Discover insights spanning the 2020-2021 school year and reaching back to 2005-2006. Uncover the intricacies of EI and ECSE services across states, including the influence of COVID-19, dynamics of Race and Ethnicity, Gender considerations, and the geographic context of each child's State. Unveil the equity landscape, driving informed actions for all children.

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NIEER Library

The National Institute for Early Education Research's comprehensive research library serves as a valuable resource for educators, policymakers, researchers, and anyone interested in the field of early childhood education. The library is a repository of research reports, policy briefs, academic papers, and other publications related to early childhood education. Many of the resources in the NIEER Research Library are made available for free as downloadable PDFs or accessible through links.

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