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    Early Education Research


    Select a title below for more information and to download the full research.

    Key Findings

    Brain Development

    The study of brain development is helping us to better understand how children learn and how their brains develop as a result of the quality and quantity of interactions with the people and environments around them. Below are some recent findings in this exciting field.

    Center for the Study of Child Care Employment: From Aspiration to Attainment: Practices that Support Early Childhood Degree Attainment, Los Angeles Universal Preschool's Child Development Workforce Initiative
    LAUP’s Child Development Workforce Initiative (CDWFI) began in 2007 with the goal of providing students interested in ECE careers with academic, financial, professional, and social support services.  This report analyzes the factors that distinguish successful program students from those who do not achieve their goals, and also asks how students rated the effectiveness of the supports provided to them. View report

    American School Board Journal: A Foundation for Success
    The gap in academic achievement between low-income children and their well-to-do peers has already appeared by the time children begin kindergarten, making preschool programs the focus of districts and researchers that seek to close this gap. The definition of and criteria for a “high-quality” preschool experience are discussed. View report

    W. Steven Barnett and Jason T. Hustedt: Preschool, The Most Important Grade
    The authors cite research findings confirming the long-term benefits of early education, and offer options for integrating the various existing U.S. public and private pre-K programs into a uniform system that would provide a high-quality early education to all young children. View report

    Rand Corporation: Who is Ahead and Who is Behind?
    This report describes the California Preschool Study, which was an extensive study of California’s K-3 education system, and examines academic achievements, shortfalls, inequities, and necessities in early education. View report

    The PEW Center on the States: The Case for Pre-K in Education Reform
    Researchers summarize recent, independent evaluations of state preschool programs; the findings demonstrate the potential of large, publicly funded programs to create educational change. View report

    Chalk Talk: Universal Preschool: A Costly but Worthy Goal
    The authors argue for the importance of universal preschool for all children, but especially for special-needs and low-income children, and call for supplemental federal funding to support states in reaching the goal of universal access to preschool. View report

    Educational Leadership and Administration: Why Preschool is Essential in Closing the Achievement Gap
    Results of this five-year California study indicate that in second and third grade, children of poverty who had attended preschool outperformed a nearly identical group of children who had not attended preschool. View report

    The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study
    The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study is a long-term experiment that, using random assignment, placed half of a group of low-income African-American children in a high-quality preschool program, while the other half was assigned to receive no preschool program.  Findings show consistent differences in outcomes between these two randomly assigned groups almost 40 years later, illustrating the power of preschool to affect outcomes. View report

    Rand Corporation: The Costs and Benefits of Universal Preschool in California
    RAND provides an economic analysis of the costs and benefits that would be associated with providing universal, high-quality preschool in California, and determines that benefits would outweigh costs by almost 2:1 even under the most conservative assumptions. View report

    NIEER/ Center on Children and Families at Brookings: Investing in Young Children
    In this overview paper, the authors detail government spending on early childhood programs (Head Start, Early Head Start, and home-visiting programs), review the number of children enrolled in each type of program, review the papers on the three programs and an additional paper on program coordination, and recommend policies that would increase the returns produced by early childhood programs. View report

    Families in Schools: Preschool Toolkit
    Provides resources, facts, and contacts for parents who want to know more about high-quality preschool and its benefits, as well as information about how parents can help advocate for preschool programs in California. View report

    Preschool California: Praise for Preschool
    The authors present case studies of children who have struggled or succeeded in kindergarten, and emphasize the importance of preschool in determining these outcomes. View report

    Why Businesses Should Support Early Childhood Education
    The Institute for a Competitive Workforce presents extensive evidence for the benefits of preschool, from the point of view of business and industry. View report

    Fight Crime: Invest in Kids: Public Safety Can't Wait
    Preschool attendance is associated with lower crime rates and fewer behavioral problems later in life.  The authors, who are primarily members of the criminal justice system in California, support universal preschool as a means to crime reduction. View report

    Insight Center for Community Economic Development: Economic Impact of the ECE Industry in Los Angeles County
    This fact sheet outlines the numerous ways in which the Early Childhood Education Industry contributes to the economy of Los Angeles County, including jobs created, dollars generated, and other positive effects experienced by the community. View report

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Double Jeopardy: How 3rd Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High-School Graduation
    Results of a longitudinal study of nearly 4,000 students find that those who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.  The study also shows that poverty strongly influences graduation rates, and that the combined effect of reading poorly and living in poverty puts children in double jeopardy.View report

    Brain Development Exchange: Early Brain Development Research, Review and Update
    This article reviews research findings in the field of young children’s brain development, and discusses their implications for education, development of social skills, language and vocabulary, and sleeping patterns. View report

    Harvard EDU: In Brief: The Science of Early Childhood Development
    Provides an overview of basic concepts in early brain development, and illustrates why supporting early education and development is important in creating a sustainable society. View report

    Zero To Three: Starting Smart: How Early Experiences Affect Brain Development
    This article discusses the importance of early experiences, and describes how nature interacts with nurture to determine the path a child’s brain development will take.  Negative early experiences impair brain development, while positive early experiences have long-lasting benefits. View report