New Brunswick, NJ—The overall quality of Seattle’s preschool program has risen to where it now surpasses that of several major city and state programs, according to a report by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), which is in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, and Cultivate Learning of the University of Washington.
Four years after opening its doors, Seattle’s preschool quality is now comparable to several more well-established city-based preschool programs.
“Seattle’s performance on key quality assessments places its preschool program alongside New York’s and San Antonio’s programs,” said Milagros Nores, NIEER’s co-director for research. “Reaching this level while growing at a steady pace in these four years is an impressive achievement.”
Since opening in 2015, Seattle’s preschool program has generally improved on three important measures of classroom quality—emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support—and has made yearly gains in a separate assessment that examines 43 areas of preschool quality. Over that same time, the program has grown from 14 to 75 classrooms.
“Seattle has built a strong foundation on which to grow and expand its preschool program,” said W. Steven Barnett, NIEER’s founder and senior co-director. “While finetuning will further improve quality, the program’s trend is clearly positive.”
Access to high-quality pre-K for all children improves school readiness across the board and decreases inequality as children enter kindergarten. This builds a stronger foundation for school success and additional benefits from employment to health across the lifespan according to decades of research.
The report is available at https://nieer.org/research-report/seattle-pre-k-program-evaluation.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (nieer.org), which is in the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, New Brunswick, NJ, supports early childhood education policy and practice through independent, objective research.
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