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The importance of early childhood education: new publications

young girl reading

The importance of quality early childhood education continues to gain traction. Results from research evaluating the Child Parent Center programming are being disseminated to affirm the long-term impact quality early childhood education can have. The Midwest Child-Parent Center (CPC) Expansion Project was awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Education to conduct this research. The Center for the Study of Education Policy (CSEP) was proud to have worked with the University of Minnesota’s Human Capital Research Collaborative (HCRC) on the project. While HCRC oversaw the research, CSEP contributed to the dissemination, implementation, and impact of the project.

Established in 1967, the Child Parent Center model originated in Chicago Public Schools. It is a center-based early childhood model for preschool through third grade. The model provides comprehensive educational and family support services. The expansion of this model allowed for programs to expand to schools in four other districts and research to be conducted on the success of the replication of programming. The expansion also allowed for a Child-Parent Center Preschool to Third Grade (CPC P-3) manual and implementation materials to be developed. The manual and other tools can be found on the CPC P-3 website.

The research found positive results for children in the programming. “We found that organizing preschool to third grade services through partnerships with schools and families creates a strong learning environment for ensuring that early childhood gains are sustained, thus reducing the achievement gap,” said Arthur Reynolds, HCRC co-director. Evidence has shown the program to improve both academic scores as well as increased parental involvement in school. “Scaling and Sustaining Effective Early Childhood Programs Through School-Family-University Collaboration” was published in the September/October 2017 issue of Child Development, sharing some of the positive results.

Additionally, Reynolds and the HCRC team recently published further research in JAMA Pediatrics on the Chicago Longitudinal Study with the initial CPC participants to show long-term economic gains from those participating in the program. Scientific American also recently published an article about the long-term gains of this early-education programming. CSEP is excited to be able to share some of the many articles promoting quality early childhood education.

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