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Early Years Policy: What Does Research Tell Us? CASE and CMPO Conference on Family Background and Child Development, July 18, 2006 Jane Waldfogel Columbia.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Years Policy: What Does Research Tell Us? CASE and CMPO Conference on Family Background and Child Development, July 18, 2006 Jane Waldfogel Columbia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Years Policy: What Does Research Tell Us? CASE and CMPO Conference on Family Background and Child Development, July 18, 2006 Jane Waldfogel Columbia University & CASE

2 Outline I. What do we know from research about the two major types of early years policy – parenting programs and early education programs? II. What role does quality play and how can we measure it? III. How do we know whether our policies are effective and how can local areas and programs be held accountable?

3 I. What do we know from research? We would like to know how effective early years programs are in meeting the twin goals of policy (Childcare Bill): oimproving outcomes for all children onarrowing gaps between disadvantaged and others We care about a range of child outcomes including a. health b. cognitive development c. social and emotional development We also care about outcomes for parents (employment, gender equity) but the main focus here is on children.

4 Two main types of policy Parenting programs - parent education (e.g. teaching parents to read w/child) - parent support (e.g. home visiting for new parents) - parent management training (e.g. training for parents of children with conduct disorders) Early education programs - School based preschool programs - Center-based programs in the community - Other child care programs

5 Other program dimensions Programs (whether parenting or early education) also vary by: - Goals of intervention (to improve cognitive development, behavioral/social, educational, child maltreatment, health, crime) - Focus of intervention (child, parent, family) - Whether program is targeted, and if so, by what criteria - Age of child - Location of services - Services offered, whether services are individual/group - Intensity - Scale Karoly et al., 2005.

6 What we know about parenting programs Parenting matters a lot, particularly in early childhood. However, the evidence is much weaker when it comes to the effectiveness of parenting programs. This is important, because for parenting programs to be a good investment, we have to know that parenting matters and that programs change parenting and improve child outcomes. Brooks-Gunn & Markman, 2005; Desfarges, 2003; HM Treasury, 2005; Magnuson, 2004

7 Parenting programs (continued) Parenting programs may change parents behavior, but evidence that parenting programs change child outcomes is less strong. However, a few programs are exceptional: - Parent education programs (such as Parents as Teachers and Reach Out and Read) can raise child test scores. - Universal home visiting programs for pregnant women and new mothers using trained nurses (Olds NFP) reduce child maltreatment and crime, and improve test scores and behaviour. - Parent management training for parents of children with conduct disorders (Webster-Stratton) improves childrens behaviour. Aos et al., 2004; Karoly et al., 2005; Magnuson, 2004; Nelson et al., 2003; Sweet & Appelbaum, 2004.

8 What we know from research about early education programs Here, the evidence base is much stronger. Evidence from US and UK is consistent on 2 points: - school- or center-care increases childrens school readiness - higher-quality care is more effective than lower-quality care. Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Smolensky & Gootman, 2003; Waldfogel, 2004, 2006.

9 Early education programs (continued) High-quality preschool programs produce substantial cognitive gains, particularly for disadvantaged (Currie, 2001; Karoly et al., 1998, 2005; Waldfogel, 2002, 2006). Positive results also found for Head Start (Puma et al, 2005) and Early Head Start (Love et al, 2002) and for more typical preschool programs (NICHD ECCRN & Duncan, 2003). Some adverse effects of group child care on child health and concerns about safety, particularly in low-quality care (Meyers et al., 2004). But child care may also be protective, reducing physical discipline and domestic violence (Love et al., 2002; Magnuson & Waldfogel, in press; Puma et al., 2005). Programs may also boost mothers education, employment, & earnings (Brooks-Gunn et al., 2000; Karoly et al., 1998).

10 Early education programs: ECLS-K results Preschool raises school readiness and lowers retention. Children who attended pre-K score better in reading (effect size.19 at entry, but.04 in spring of 1st grade) and are 25% less likely to be retained. Effects are larger, and longer-lasting, for children in low-instruction schools (effect size for reading.46 at entry and.25 in 1 st grade) and disadvantaged children (e.g. children whose families received welfare; effect sizes.28 and.21). Larger effects also found for children with less-educated parents or language other than English. But, longer hours in preschool also associated with more behaviour problems, except for children attending pre-K and K in same school. Magnuson, Meyers, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2004; Magnuson, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, in press.

11 Early education programs: EPPE results Children who attend preschool enter school at a cognitive advantage (effect sizes.30 to.45) (Charts E.3-E5). The longer children had been in pre-school, the greater the advantage – effect sizes for pre-reading, early number, and language range from.38 to.63 for those attending 2-3 or >3 years (Chart 4.1). Children who began pre-school at 2 were ahead of children who began at 3, and maintained that gain at school entry. This was not true for the few children who began before 2. Children who attend pre-school also enter school with better social and behavioural development, except on dimension of antisocial or worried (effect size.10). Children who began pre-school earliest (at 2 or below) were the most antisocial or worried. Children at risk of SEN, children for whom English is an additional language, and children from some ethnic minority groups gained the most from attending preschool. Sammons, Sylva, Melhuish, Siraj-Blatchford, Taggart, & Elliot, 2002, 2003.

12 EPPE results (continued) The impact of child, family, and home environment factors is weaker at school entry than at 3 for some cognitive outcomes (pre-reading, early numbers) (Table 2.2), although not for social and behavioural outcomes. There may be composition effects – e.g. children made more progress in pre-reading if attending centres with more children from highly educated families. Children also made more progress in higher-quality centers, but quality and effectiveness of care is uneven.

13 II. The role of quality There is no doubt that quality matters. Quebecs $5/day child care policy increased enrollment in mainly low-quality settings, with adverse effects for children (Baker, Gruber, & Milligan, 2005; Waldfogel, 2005). This contrasts with evidence from Argentinas kindergarten expansion (Berlinski, Galiani, & Gertler, 2006) and pre K in US, where schools set high quality standards and children gain in school readiness (Barnett et al., 2005; Gormley & Gayer, 2005; Gormley et al., 2005; Magnuson et al., in press).

14 But how to define and measure quality? In parenting programs, two key aspects are: - Trained staff who follow a specific curriculum (e.g. Olds) - Services delivered with sufficient intensity. Karoly et al., 2005; Nelson et al., 2003; Olds et al., 2002 and 2004.

15 Quality in early education programs Two key aspects (Currie & Neidell, in press; Karoly et al., 2005; Ruopp et al., 1979; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Smolensky & Gootman, 2003) are: - teacher education - child/teacher ratio Other factors that matter: - Intensity of service (Hill et al., 2003; Karoly et al.,2005). - Beginning early; well-educated, trained, and compensated teachers; small class sizes and high teacher-child ratios; intensity; and a clear focus on childrens learning (Galinsky, 2006). - Follow-on programming (this matters more when early intervention is less intensive; CPC vs. Abecedarian).

16 III. Accountability: how do we know whether programs are effective and how can we hold local areas and programs accountable? Distinction between process and outcomes: - Process has to do with what type of program is being delivered, with what intensity, to which children, etc. - Outcomes have to do with gains for children, ideally in comparison to a control group In the US, interest in using outcomes data to track effectiveness and hold local areas and programs accountable (e.g. Robin Hood, Pew) -Parallel with what is happening in education system.

17 Conclusions Early years policies must address the twin challenge of improving outcomes for all children, and helping to close gaps between disadvantaged children and others. We know from research that early education programs are effective at meeting these twin goals. The evidence on parenting programs is weaker. But, for both types of programs, quality matters. So the challenge is how to deliver quality, and how to assess effectiveness on an ongoing basis, so that local areas and programs can be held accountable. This may require tracking outcomes, as well as process.

18 References Aos, Steve, Roxanne Lieb, Jim Mayfield, Marna Miller, & Annie Pennucci (2004). Benefits and Costs of Prevention and Early Intervention Programs for Youth. Olympia, WA: Washington State Institute for Public Policy. Available from Baker, Michael, Jonathan Gruber, & K. Milligan (2005). Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being. Available from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) at Barnett, W. Steven, Cynthia Lamy, & Kwanghee Jung (2005). The Effects of State Prekindergarten Programs on Young Childrens School Readiness in Five States. Available from the National Institute for Early Education Research at Berlinski, Samuel, Sebastian Galiani, & Paul Gertler (2006). The Effect of Pre- Primary Education on Primary School Performance. IFS WP06/04. Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, Lisa Berlin, & Alison Fuligni (2000). Early Childhood Intervention Programs: What About the Family? In Jack Shonkoff & Samuel Meisels (eds) Handbook of Early Childhood Intervention. 2nd edition. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne & Lisa Markman (2005). The Contribution of Parenting to Ethnic and Racial Gaps in School Readiness. Future of Children 15(1): Currie, Janet (2001). Early Childhood Intervention Programs: What Do We Know? Journal of Economic Perspectives 15: Currie, Janet & Matthew Neidell (in press). Getting Inside the Black Box of Head Start Quality: What Matters and What Doesnt? Economics of Education Review.

19 References (continued) Desfarges, Charles with Alberto Abouchaar (2003). The Impact of Parental Involvement, Parental Support, and Family Education on Pupil Achievements and Adjustment: A Literature Review. Research Report No London: DfES. Galinsky, Ellen (2006). The Economic Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Programs: What Makes the Difference?. New York: Families and Work Institute. Gormley, William & Ted Gayer (2005). Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsas Pre-K Program. Journal of Human Resources 40: Gormley, William, Ted Gayer, Deborah Phillips, & Brittany Dawson (2005). The Effects of Universal Pre-K on Cognitive Development. Developmental Psychology 41(6): Hill, Jennifer, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, & Jane Waldfogel (2003). Sustained Effects of High Participation in an Early Intervention for Low-Birth-Weight Premature Infants. Developmental Psychology 39(4): HM Treasury (2005). Support for Parents: The Best Start for Children. London: HM Treasury. Karoly, Lynn, Peter Greenwood, Susan Everingham, Jill Hoube, Rebecca Kilburn, Peter Rydell, Matthew Sanders, and James Chiesa (1998). Investing in Our Children: What We Know and Dont Know about the Costs and Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions. Santa Monica: RAND. Karoly, Lynn, M. Rebecca Kilburn, & Jill S. Cannon (2005). Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise. Santa Monica: RAND. Love, J.M., E. Eliason-Kisker, C. M. Ross, P.Z. Schochet, J. Brooks-Gunn, & D. Paulsell (2002). Making a Difference in the Lives of Infants and Toddlers and Their Families: The Impacts of Early Head Start. Washington, DC: U.S. DHHS, ACF.

20 References (continued) Magnuson, Katherine (2004). Parenting Interventions: How to Spend the Marginal Dollar? Presentation to IPPR and HM Treasury Conference, March, Magnuson, Katherine, Marcia Meyers, Christopher Ruhm, & Jane Waldfogel (2004). Inequality in Preschool Education and School Readiness. American Educational Research Journal 41(1): Magnuson, Katherine, Christopher Ruhm, & Jane Waldfogel (in press). Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance? Economics of Education Review. Magnuson, Katherine & Jane Waldfogel (in press). Pre-School Enrollment and Parents Use of Physical Discipline. Infant and Child Development. Meyers, Marcia, Dan Rosenbaum, Christopher Ruhm, & Jane Waldfogel (2004). Inequality in Early Childhood Education and Care: What do We Know? In Kathy Neckerman (ed). Social Inequality. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Nelson, Geoffrey, Anne Westhues, & Jennifer MacLeod (2003). A Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Research on Preschool Prevention Programs for Children. Prevention & Treatment 6. Available from NICHD Early Child Care Research Network and Greg Duncan (2003). Modeling the Impacts of Child Care Quality on Childrens Preschool Cognitive Development. Child Development 74:

21 Reference (continued) Olds, David, JoAnn Robinson, Ruth OBrien, Dennis Luckey, Lisa Pettit, Charles Henderson, Rosanna Ng, Karen Sheff, John Korfmacher, Susan Hiatt, & Ayelet Tahmi (2002). Home Visiting by Paraprofessionals and by Nurses: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Pediatrics 110(3): Olds, David, JoAnn Robinson, Lisa Pettit, Dennis Luckey, John Holmberg, Rosanna Ng, Kathy Isacks, Karen Sheff, & Charles Henderson (2004). Effects of Home Visits by Paraprofessionals and by Nurses: Age 4 Follow-Up Results of a Randomized Trial. Pediatrics 114(6): Puma, M., S. Bell, R. Cook, C. Heid, & M. Lopez (2005). Head Start Impact Study: First Year Findings. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Ruopp, Richard, Jeffrey Travers, Frederic Glantz, & C. Coelen (1979). Children at the Center: Final Report of the National Day Care Study. Cambridge, Mass.: Abt Assoc. Sammons, Pam, Kathy Sylva, Edward Melhuish, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Brenda Taggart, & Karen Elliot (2002). Measuring the Impact of Pre-School on Childrens Cognitive Progress over the Pre-School Period. Technical Paper 8a, The Effective Provision of Pre-School Provision (EPPE) Project. London: Institute of Education, University of London. Sammons, Pam, Kathy Sylva, Edward Melhuish, Iram Siraj-Blatchford, Brenda Taggart, & Karen Elliot (2003). Measuring the Impact of Pre-School on Childrens Social/Behavioral Development over the Pre-School Period. Technical Paper 8b, The EPPE Project. London: Institute of Education, University of London.

22 References (continued) Shonkoff, Jack P. & Deborah A. Phillips (eds) (2000). From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Smolensky, Eugene & Jennifer Gootman (eds) (2003). Working Families and Growing Kids: Caring for Children and Adolescents. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Sweet, Monica & Mark Appelbaum (2004). Is Home Visiting an Effective Strategy? A Meta-Analytic Review of Home Visiting Programs for Families with Young Children. Child Development 75(5): Waldfogel, Jane (2002). Child Care, Womens Employment, and Child Outcomes. Journal of Population Economics 15: Waldfogel, Jane (2004). Social Mobility, Life Chances, and the Early Years. CASEpaper 88. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics. Waldfogel, Jane (2005). Family Work Arrangement and Child Outcomes. Paper presented at Expert Roundtable on Child Development, Ottawa, Canada, December 8-9, Waldfogel, Jane (2006). What Children Need. Cambridge & London: Harvard University Press.

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