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Early childhood education resources

Below are resources for early childhood professionals and those serving the early childhood community.

Untangling the Evidence on Preschool Effectiveness This report examines the effects of preschool on children’s preparation for school. The authors reviewed evaluations of 21 public preschool programs, finding that students who attend high-quality preschool programs reap benefits that can last throughout their lives, and are more prepared for school and experience substantial learning gains in comparison to children who do not attend preschool. Some recent studies of the effects of preschool found mixed results, but when participants are compared to very similar students who did not attend preschool, the benefits of participation are typically found to be substantial. Both preschool and elementary school quality also make a difference for the strength of ongoing effects in terms of achievement, school progress, and attainment. Students who attend preschool programs are more prepared for school and are less likely to be identified as having special needs or to be held back in elementary school than children who did not attend preschool. Studies also show clear positive effects on children’s early literacy and mathematics skills. Studies of preschool programs that have followed students into adulthood find up to $17 returned in social benefits for every dollar invested. This is because people who attend preschool are less likely later on to be unemployed or incarcerated and more likely to graduate high school and earn higher salaries. Even when students are only followed into elementary school, there are significant benefits from preschool in lower rates of grade retention and special education placements. These benefits produce an average of $2 to $4 returns on the dollar. (Learning Policy Institute)

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) leads the state’s initiatives to create an integrated system of early learning and development programs to support Illinois’ vision that access to a continuous, equitable, and high-quality early childhood system enables children, with the support of their families and communities, to grow up safe, healthy, happy, and ready to succeed. GOECD is hiring for several positions to assist in the coordination, management, and implementation of activities for the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5). Please click on the links below to view the job descriptions:

Why the K-12 World Hasn’t Embraced Early Learning This paper was written to describe some of the policy and cultural influences that make it hard to build partnerships between K-12 and early learning, and to provoke some important conversations about how to change those influences.

A promising new measure of kindergarten readiness  For years, states have sought a reliable way to measure the extent to which young children are on track to enter kindergarten, and to identify subgroups of children who might benefit from additional support or intervention in the pre-K years. A new pilot measure based on the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) may meet that need and fill a critical gap in policy-relevant early childhood data.

Trends in Pre-K Education Funding in 2017-18  This policy brief begins by reviewing the educational and societal impacts of quality pre-K programs before revealing legislative changes to state pre-K funding in 2017-18. The brief highlights four states and breaks down total pre-K funding for all states, including year-over-year changes.

New Governors Aim to Funnel Money Into Early Education  After campaigning on the expansion of preschool and other early-childhood programs, many of the nation’s newly elected governors are following through with budget proposals that include money to support children from cradle to school entry.