Policy Analysis

Funding High-Quality Pre-K for All


Karin Garver

The United States still struggles to provide high quality preschool education to the nation’s 3- and 4-year-olds. State-funded pre-K and Head Start serve less than 1 in 3 age-eligible children, and quality standards remain far too low in many of these

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion: Advocating for High-Quality Preschool


GG Weisenfeld

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion This brief is intended to provide information and guidance for advocates and other stakeholders, especially those new to this issue, as they seek to increase investments in high quality preschool in their states. The be

Impacts of Covid-19 on Preschool Enrollment and Spending


GG Weisenfeld

To understand the degree to which the Covid-19 pandemic affected young children’s learning and preschool experiences, the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) conducted two nationally representative surveys of parents of children age

What Do We Know About Infant and Toddler Care in New Jersey?


W. Steven Barnett

Executive Summary Most of New Jersey’s nearly 300,000 children under age 3 receive nonparental child care. While highly diverse, this population widely shares a common characteristic: a high rate of parental labor force participation. This makes the af

Who Cares for Infants and Toddlers? Change from 2012 to 2019 and its Implications


W. Steven Barnett & Zijia Li

Executive Summary Although most children under age 3 are cared for by parents and other family members, the percentage in formal care increases with the age of the child and has been growing over time. Between 2012 and 2019 there was a shift toward cen

Exploring the Cost of High-Quality Infant and Toddler Care in New Jersey


Karin Garver

Introduction New Jersey’s youngest children and their families depend on an under-funded system of care with widely varying quality. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated problems by reducing families’ ability to pay while also increasing costs. This r

Review of State School Reopening Plans and Implications and Suggestions for State Funded Pre-K Programs


NIEER has updated its Review of State School Reopening Plans and Implications and Suggestions for State Funded Pre-K Programs authored by GG Weisenfeld to include pre-K reopening plans that have occurred as of August 18, 2020 and steps states have take

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: Pre-K and Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA) Alignment: 2018-2019 School Year


Kate Hodges

Assessments of children’s learning and development can be important tools for teachers, administrators, and even parents. Used together with other information, they may inform the teaching of individual children and—when aggregated—decisions about how

The “Why” Behind Kindergarten Entry Assessments


Karin Garver

Introduction The 2011 Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant was instrumental in introducing to states the concept of systematically collecting and using data from formative assessments of children at kindergarten entry.1 By the 2018-2019 schoo

Special Report Access to High-quality Early Education and Racial Equity


Allison Friedman-Krauss and Steven Barnett

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has focused the nation’s attention on the unequal treatment of Black Americans. Black children experience unequal treatment beginning at an early age, which contributes to inequaliti

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion: Creating and Supporting a Highly Qualified Workforce during Pre-K Expansion


GG Weisenfeld and Lori Connors-Tadros

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion One of the goals of pre-K programs funded by states is to support the learning and development of young children. Research finds that only high-quality programs can achieve positive, long-term outcomes in areas such as

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion: Ensuring Adequate Resources for Expanding High Quality Pre-K


By Lori Connors-Tadros and GG Weisenfeld

Guide to Support Pre-K Expansion There are three critical steps to ensure adequate funding for high quality pre-K. First, fully specify quality standards, the number of children to be served, and a timeline to achieve these; then cost it out year-by-ye

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Pre-K Policies: Salary Parity Varies with Teacher Qualifications and Setting


Karin Garver

An all too common complaint in the early childhood field is that low salaries for preschool teachers and lack of pay parity with K-12 teachers in the public schools creates serious problems. These include low morale and difficulty recruiting and retain

What is Readiness? Preparing All Children to Succeed in Kindergarten and Beyond


By Sima Bernstein, W. Steven Barnett and Debra J. Ackerman

By Sima Bernstein, W. Steven Barnett and Debra J. Ackerman Kindergartners enter school with widely varying levels of skills and development across and within demographic groups. Children of families with higher socio-economic status (SES) score higher

Early Childhood Education: Three Pathways to Better Health


Allison Friedman-Krauss, Sima Bernstein and W. Steven Barnett

While the link between schooling and health has been well established, the direct and indirect effects of early childhood education programs on health have recently become a more substantial focus of research. This brief summarizes the research evidenc

Opportunities & Policies for Young Dual Language Learners


Milagros Nores, Ph.D., Allison Friedman Krauss, Ph.D., and Ellen Frede, Ph.D.

One of the most significant recent trends in the U.S. education system is that white students are no longer the majority. This trend is mainly driven by growth in both the number and percentage of Hispanic children. The share of Hispanic students among

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Policies Supporting Comprehensive Preschool Services


GG Weisenfeld Ed.D. and Nicole DiCrecchio Ed.D.

Third in a series of policy briefs addressing specific topics based on State of Preschool yearbook data. For the past 15 years, NIEER has been collecting information on what comprehensive services state-funded preschool programs have provided to childr

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: Lead Teacher Workforce–Qualifications, Pay and Parity


Allison Friedman-Krauss, Ph.D and Rich Kasmin, M.A.

Second in a series of policy briefs addressing specific topics based on State of Preschool yearbook data. Teachers are a strong direct determinant of preschool program quality, and state pre-k program polices influence who becomes and stays a teacher a

NIEER Pre-K Data Snapshot: State Policies that Support Curriculum in Preschool


GG Weisenfeld

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) researches and disseminates an annual report profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs throughout the United States. NIEER’s State of Preschool yearbook is the only national report on st

Building Capacity to Enact Change for Classroom Quality Improvement in New Jersey


Shannon Riley-Ayers, Sharon Ryan, Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, Vincent Costanza, and Kaitlin Northey

State Education Agencies (SEAs) across the country are working to directly impact early childhood teaching and learning in local education agencies (LEAs).  To do this, the SEA must rely on local change agents to increase classroom quality across a sta

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