Early Care and Education & Pre-K Education

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Three young children playing at a table

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 Project

The Educare Learning Network (ELN) is a consortium of programs implementing the core features of the Educare early education model. FPG is the ELN's National Evaluation Partner and is documenting how implementation contributes to program quality and links to child and family outcomes.

Featured Person

Senior research scientist Noreen Yazejian, PhD, has extensive experience conducting large-scale, multi-site research and evaluation studies and assessing the quality of practices in early education settings and the effects of variation in quality on children, particularly vulnerable children.

Featured Resource

Ximena Franco and Mary Bratsch-Hines, advanced research scientists who are part of the Early Learning Network funded by the U.S. Department of Education, contributed to blog posts that include simple tips for families and caregivers during this unprecedented break from school caused by the pandemic.

Current Projects

The Abecedarian Project was a carefully controlled scientific study of the potential benefits of early childhood education for poor children. Four cohorts of individuals, born between 1972 and 1977, were randomly assigned as infants to either the early educational intervention group or the control group.
This subcontract to the University of Chicago allows UNC-CH to join an interdisciplinary team that will collect, analyze, and compare data on the impacts on participants through midlife, and on their children, of the two most influential early childhood education programs: the HighScope Perry Preschool Program (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC) that targeted disadvantaged, predominantly Black, children.
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 extent to which and how early education reduces achievement gaps related to race and income have not been studied extensively in rural areas in the United States, despite clear evidence that these achievement gaps are even larger in the rural United States and high-quality early education is one of the most effective means to promote educational success for all children.
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 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 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.
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 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.