Early Care and Education & Pre-K Education

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Early care and education provide a strong foundation for children's academic success and overall well-being. This focus area has been central to the work of the Institute since its founding more than 50 years ago. One of FPG's first and most influential projects was a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of an early care and education intervention for children from low-income households. This work continues today with research on closing the achievement gap and providing support for dual language learners.

Featured FPG News Story

The North Carolina Early Learning Network (NC-ELN) was selected for the Implementation Coaching to Advance Equity in Pyramid: TA Partnership from the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations. The two-year technical assistance partnership will result in establishing a state demonstration program including resources, tools, and processes that reinforce equity across NC's Pyramid Model implementation classrooms, of which there are more than 300. Learn more about this partnership.

Featured Publication

Implementation of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program: A Statewide Evaluation, examines the implementation of PA PKC in relation to the program regulations and early learning standards. This process evaluation focused on issues related to the extent of variability in implementation of the PA PKC program, effectiveness of family engagement, adequacy of supports for continuous quality improvement, and implementation challenges in supporting children's school readiness.

Featured FPG News Story

Sandra L. Soliday Hong, PhD, research scientist, and Sabrina Zadrozny, PhD, statistician investigator and director of FPG's Data Management and Analysis Core, lead a project that has annually evaluated academic and social outcomes for a representative sample of 1,169 Georgia pre-K attendees from the 2013-14 school year. This longitudinal study shows that certain gains from pre-K persist through the third grade, particularly when it comes to language, literacy, and social skills.

Current Projects

The aim of this study is to delve deep into the factors that hinder or support the optimal development of children, families, and educators in Black-majority Educare schools.
The purpose of this project is to examine whether receiving direct payments through the American Rescue Plan is particularly beneficial for Black and Latine families—economically and psychologically.
The purpose of this project as part of the Equity Research Action Coalition is to identify strengths-based programs and policies that support the well-being of Black parents and their infants and toddlers during the pandemic.
This project will support a cohort of place-based, cross-sector educational collaboratives ("myFutureNC network") across the state to develop model programs that significantly increase the number of students successfully pursuing post-secondary education and entering the workforce. This pilot aligns with the state's goal of having 2 million individuals between the ages of 25 and 44 with a high-quality credential or postsecondary degree by 2030.
The Early Childhood TA Center (ECTA) is funded to support state Early Intervention and Preschool Special Education programs in developing high-quality early intervention and preschool special education service systems, increasing local implementation of evidence-based practices, and enhancing outcomes for young children with disabilities and their families.
The goal of this project is to conduct follow-up studies of Educare graduates as they enter kindergarten and progress through the early elementary years. A team at Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute will coordinate and support the Educare local evaluators as they launch new follow-up studies or expand existing follow-up study efforts in 8-12 U.S. cities where there is an Educare school. This 3-year project will gather data on at least 3 years of Educare graduates and, in some sites, data from their parents as well.
The purpose of this project is to conduct a pilot study examining the impact of Family Engagement Specialists' beliefs and attitudes (e.g., bias) on their engagement with families.
The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between implicit bias, teacher expectations, teacher–child interactions, and child outcomes. There are disparities in child discipline and development that can manifest early for poor and/or minority children and can have lasting consequences.
The Equity Research Action Coalition will co-construct with practitioners and policymakers actionable research to support the optimal development of Black children prenatally through childhood across the African diaspora using a cultural wealth framework. The coalition will focus on developing a science-based action framework to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children, families, and communities, and to ensure optimal health, well-being, school readiness and success, and overall excellence.
The goal of this project is to support the development of an interdisciplinary, multi-organizational research action coalition to identify anti-racist, culturally-sustaining, and asset-focused factors that ensure that Black children, their families, and communities thrive. Specific to this project is the development of a national repository/clearinghouse that provides up to date information on actionable research, practice, and policy evidence about what matters and works for Black children.
The purpose of this project is to conduct the year 1 evaluation of the ECIC Child Care Innovation Fund. Guided by a racial equity evaluation framework, the evaluation will determine how this fund influences policy changes to address racial disparities in wages and families' access to affordable, high-quality early care and education. This study will also examine facilitators and barriers to engaging in racial equity systems change.
The purpose of this project is to design and implement a developmental evaluation for an expected 10-year early childhood collective impact project, the Get Ready Guilford Initiative (GRGI). Activities will include gathering information on the organizations, relationships, practices, roles, and competencies involved in the systems work.
FirstSchool is a Pre-K through third grade approach to improving early elementary school experiences for African American, Latino, and low-income children and their families.
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute will provide leadership and professional development for the Department of Public Instruction's demonstration pre-k and kindergarten classrooms. FirstSchool staff will serve on the steering committee and participate in biannual professional development sessions for demonstration site teachers.
The Georgia Pre-Kindergarten Evaluation project provides an external statewide evaluation of Georgia's Pre-K Program, a universal pre-kindergarten program for four-year-olds. The project is currently conducting an ongoing longitudinal study of the short- and long-term learning outcomes for children who attended Georgia's Pre-K Program as well as the quality of their preschool and early elementary school experiences from pre-k through fifth grade.
This study utilizes three large-scale early childhood education datasets (NCEDL, SWEEP and LAExCELS) to explore how children’s engagement, measured by moment-to-moment time sampling, varies within classrooms and explores if variation in levels and quality of child engagement and activity type/setting is associated with children’s outcomes.
The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (NCPFCE) funded by the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Head Start in partnership with the Office of Child Care is one of four National Centers that develop evidence-based best practices for Early Head Start and Head Start programs across the country, as part of a comprehensive Office of Head Start Training and Technical Assistance System. The goal of this project is to support family well-being, effective family and community engagement, and children's school readiness, including transition to kindergarten.
This project consists of planning and implementing an evaluation of The Educare Learning Network, a consortium of programs nationwide providing high quality learning environments for at-risk children from birth to 5 years. The evaluation will document the features of Educare and how implementation of the model contributes to program quality and links to child and family outcomes.
The mission of the National Implementation Research Network is to contribute to the best practices and science of implementation, organization change, and system reinvention to improve outcomes across the spectrum of human services.
The project team will complete three tasks at the request of the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education: (1) provide context for analyses in previously submitted report; (2) continue data management of NC Pre-K data extracted from state data systems; and (3) collect information related to preschool operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milton-Union Exempted Village Schools is seeking support for the use of implementation science practices and tools for their district and school improvement efforts in early literacy. To support development of implementation capacity, the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN; http://nirn.fpg.unc.edu) proposes providing virtual and onsite training, coaching, and consultation supports for the district and school leadership and implementation teams.
The overall goal of this project is to improve services, program management, and child outcomes for preschool children in the Exceptional Children Program in all Local Education Agencies across North Carolina through the development of a statewide system of professional development and support. Activities provide support for local coordinators and staff who serve preschool exceptional children through training, technical assistance, follow up, networking, and opportunities for collaboration.
The primary project goal is to prepare working professionals from diverse backgrounds to become interdisciplinary, collaborative leaders in early childhood special education implementing culturally responsive and evidence-based practices for facilitating the successful inclusion of young children with disabilities and their families in high need schools and community based programs.
This project's purpose is to develop and enhance the knowledge on the practices and supports necessary to improve access and participation within STEM learning opportunities for young children with disabilities.
Early childhood educators (ECE) work with young children with disabilities as well as children from diverse backgrounds to support learning and development. It is critical for ECEs to be adequately prepared to serve children who are linguistically, culturally, and ability-diverse. The purpose of this project is to work with early childhood community college programs in North Carolina to enhance and redesign courses to better prepare ECEs to work with children with disabilities and children from diverse backgrounds.
This project will use secondary data analysis of two longitudinal datasets to test if childcare provider language prospectively predicts child executive functions (EFs) directly or indirectly through child language. We will also examine if different ways of measuring preschool teacher language quality are differentially predictive of child language and subsequent EFs.