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Midwest expansion of Child Parent Center i3 Validation Study Comes to an End

In 2012 the Midwest Child-Parent Center (CPC) Expansion Project received an Investing in Innovation or “i3” grant of $15 million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education. Beginning in fall 2012, the project implemented the CPC education model in 33 sites in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Site locations in Illinois include the McLean County School District 5 in Normal, Chicago Public Schools (where the program was developed in 1967), and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

The University of Minnesota’s Human Capital Research Collaborative (HCRC) was the primary coordinator of the project and oversaw the work of collaborating partners. Collaborating partners included the Erikson Institute which helped to develop a professional development system and the Center for the Study of Education Policy (CSEP) at Illinois State University, which contributed to the dissemination, implementation, and impact. SRI International also conducted a rigorous evaluation of the implementation and impact.

Funding for the project concluded at the end of 2016. Over the course of the grant, CSEP received $350,000. This funding allowed for CSEP to work with CPC sites to provide various supports:

  • A case study and CPC site overview template for sites to use in highlighting their work, sharing results with stakeholders, and building a case for sustainability. This included a tool for capturing the costs and benefits of the program.
  • Asset mapping templates and support to help CPC sites to work with community stakeholders to build support systems for participating families. Further, materials for community data-dashboards were highlighted to bring stakeholders together around preschool through third grade efforts.
  • Materials to help districts approach and work with community-based preschool providers around transitioning community-based student into kindergarten with school districts. This included a preschool portfolio template that providers and school districts can use to more consistently share information about students and a Kindergarten Readiness Kit for families.
  • CSEP worked to ensure that CPC and other birth through third grade alignment strategies were integrated into statewide efforts across Illinois. This was done through participation on various committees, regular correspondence with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and more recently input into the planning of ESSA’s (Every Student Succeeds Act) implementation in Illinois.
  • Provided intensive services to districts like McLean County School District 5 in Normal, that included supports with a parent friendly inventory of used assessment and audit of teaching practice within math curriculum. Both included the alignment from preschool through high school.

A primary product of the project has been the development of a CPC P-3 Program Manual (Child Parent Centers, Preschool-3rd-Grade Program). The manual and other materials can be found on the CPC, P-3 website. Moving forward, CSEP will continue to support birth-to-third-grade efforts across the state of Illinois.