high-quality early childhood education, including pre-k, is one strategy that policymakers and educators can use to address that gap early in a child’s life. research has shown that preschool can equip children for kindergarten entry, and also with the social and emotional skills they will need for life. high-quality preschool can help children succeed in their first years of school and reduce the early achievement gap. a few studies have examined longer-term impacts of preschool, with some evidence of lasting long-term outcomes, including higher earnings, better health, better focus, and less criminal activity. others found that the improved academic skills of children who attended public preschool eventually converged with those of children who did not attend. • better-quality preschool is connected to better outcomes for children.
essential elements of high-quality preschool include leaders with a strong vision for delivering quality, and robust early learning policies regarding teachers, curriculum, and supports. their level of training, compensation, and support in implementing curricula all matter for quality. finally, high-quality programs have strong program practices such as data-driven decision-making and ample professional development opportunities. research shows that public preschool does help children prepare for kindergarten, and that it may bestow long-term benefits such as better focus and problem-solving ability, better health, and higher earnings. • preschool teachers need excellent training and adequate compensation, and must to be supported as they do their work. • kindergarten and early elementary teachers should build on the successes of children who participated in high-quality preschool. elementary administrators and teachers should understand best practices for early childhood education, and public schools should partner with preschools to support strong early learning from preschool through third grade.
utah school districts and advocates had concerns about the achievement gap and high need for special education services among children from low-income families: utah is one of only 10 states that did not have a state-funded preschool program in 2013-14, and a public option for preschool funding was defeated in the utah state legislature in 2013. there is evidence that high-quality preschool can help reduce gaps observed at kindergarten entry. pritzker family foundation (up to $4 million subordinate loans) evaluator: dr. mark innocenti, center for persons with disabilities, college of education and human services, utah state university evaluation methodology: single-group design tracks students’ academic achievement levels from grades k-6 to determine if they utilize special education services using verified administrative data. outcomes that yield payments: avoidance of special education services in grades k-6 among preschoolers at the highest risk of later needing special education services (students who score under 70 on the peabody picture vocabulary test at the start of preschool are considered “highest risk”) intervention: the utah high quality preschool program delivers half-day classes, two days a week for 3-year-olds and four days a week for 4-year-olds.
evidence base behind the intervention: a longitudinal study published in 2011 of three cohorts of children who received this program’s services in the 11 granite school district (ut) preschools most impacted by poverty showed that the students at highest risk for school failure (measured through a score of less than 70 on the peabody picture vocabulary test at age 4) were very unlikely to be assigned to special education services in elementary school. findings from the longitudinal study also suggest that the preschool program can help address the academic achievement gap (reading and math test score differences) between schools most- and least-impacted by poverty. the urban institute brings data-driven expertise and objective analysis to today’s critical social and economic policy debates.
a preschool curriculum is based on what most preschoolers should know and be able to do. teachers plan and adapt curriculum to help children learn and grow. many educators tout the benefits of preschool, but there’s no clear standard for what qualifies as a quality program. the essential indicators of quality preschool there are positive relationships between teachers and children. the room is well-equipped, with sufficient, high quality early childhood education, high quality early childhood education, early childhood programs examples, naeyc preschool curriculum, what is high quality child care.
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