Policy Brief/Analysis

New Jersey Preschool Expansion Assessment Research Study (PEARS)

By Allison Friedman, Ellen Frede, Dale Epstein, Rachel Sansanelli, Debra Ackerman, and Judi Stevenson-Boyd (December 2009)

NIEER researchers prepared this needs assessment of preschool programs and school districts in New Jersey for the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE), Division of Early Childhood Education. The School Funding Reform Act of 2008 calls for an expansion of preschool in New Jersey and through PEARS, the capacity and quality of non-Abbott child care centers, Head Start programs, and school district preschool programs across the state are assessed.

Among the NIEER researchers’ recommendations:

  • The state should proceed with funding preschool expansion.
  • Incentives should be provided to districts to contract and work collaboratively with child care centers and Head Start agencies to provide services.
  • Construction funding for new and upgraded facilities is needed for schools and their private partners to meet facility standards.

The Authors

Allison Friedman-Krauss is an Assistant Research Professor at NIEER where she is also the Associate Director for Policy Research and Director of the Infant and Toddler Policy Research Center. 

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.