Journal Article

Early Childhood Programs in the Public Schools

Insights from a State Survey

By Barnett, W. S. & Frede, E. C. (1993).

Local education agencies (LEAs) have considerable discretion in the development and implementation of early childhood policy and programs. It is therefore useful to describe local implementation of early childhood policies, including those for young children with disabilities. A survey was conducted of early childhood programs administered by public schools in Massachusetts to obtain data on six aspects of program implementation: characteristics of the children served, program settings, service characteristics, teacher characteristics, family involvement activities, and funding and administration. Results revealed important variations among LEAs in integration, duration and frequency of services, staff-child ratios, teacher qualifications, and other aspects of policy implementation. Potential state responses are discussed.

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The Authors

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.

In her work, Dr. Frede applies what she has learned throughout her varied career in early childhood education, including experience as a teacher of ages 0-8, curriculum and professional development specialist at the HighScope Foundation, teacher educator at The College of New Jersey, researcher, pre-k administrator for the New Jersey Department of Education, education lead in a large Head Start grantee and early learning lead at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.