Article

Kindergarten readiness for low-income and ethnically diverse children attending publicly funded preschool programs in Miami

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Abstract

Using data from the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP), we examine the kindergarten readiness of five cohorts (2002–2007) of children from low-income, ethnically, and linguistically diverse families (n = 16,176) in Miami, Florida who experienced three types of publicly funded preschool programs the year before kindergarten: public school-based pre-K, center-based care, or family childcare. Black and Latino children in public school-based pre-K programs consistently demonstrated greater kindergarten readiness when compared with their classmates in center-based and family childcare, controlling for demographic variables and cognitive skills at preschool entry. In most cases, low-income children enrolled in center-based care also exhibited greater kindergarten skills than their classmates who had attended family childcare. Results were the same across ethnic and language groups. Thus, for all groups of children, those who attended public school-based pre-K began kindergarten with a stronger start than their classmates who attended center-based care and family childcare, and they continued to do better at the end of the kindergarten year.

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... Formal preschool programs are associated with stronger school readiness skills for low-income Latino children as compared with their non-Latino peers (Crosnoe, 2007;), but there are important differences existing within these programs that are often obscured in larger preschool evaluations (e.g., public school pre-K vs. other center-based care; Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Grindal & Lόpez, 2015). For example, Latino children enrolled in public school pre-K programs generally demonstrate greater gains across areas of preacademic skills Winsler et al., 2008) when compared with children in publicly funded community-based centers or those who have yet to attend pre-K. ...
... For example, Latino children enrolled in public school pre-K programs generally demonstrate greater gains across areas of preacademic skills Winsler et al., 2008) when compared with children in publicly funded community-based centers or those who have yet to attend pre-K. In prior work with the MSRP, Ansari and Winsler (2016) found that lowincome Latino children who attended public school pre-K entered kindergarten demonstrating stronger kindergarten readiness with effect sizes ranging from 10% to 23% of a standard deviation, and similar patterns have emerged in other urban communities including Los Angeles (ES = .20-.28 SDs; Grindal & Lόpez, 2015), Tulsa (ES = .54-.59 SDs; , and Boston (ES = .31-.88 SDs; . ...
... Specifically, Latino children who experienced public school pre-K performed better throughout the third-grade year on standardized tests of math and literacy and scored higher on end of year grades than children in subsidized centerbased care, even when controlling for baseline characteristics and preschool entry skills. Importantly, the effect size of public school pre-k participation on third-grade outcomes (.11-.15 SDs) was comparable to those reported in an earlier evaluation of children's kindergarten readiness (.10-.23 SDs; Ansari & Winsler, 2016). ...
Article
This study examined the third-grade outcomes of 11,902 low-income Latino children who experienced public school pre-K or child care via subsidies (center-based care) at age 4 in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Regression and propensity score analyses revealed that children who experienced public school pre-K earned higher scores on standardized assessments of math and reading in third grade and had higher grade point averages than those who attended center-based care 4 years earlier. The sustained associations between public school pre-K (vs. center-based care) and third-grade outcomes were mediated by children's kindergarten entry preacademic and social–behavioral skills, and among English-language learners, English proficiency. Implications for investing in early childhood programs to assist with the school readiness of young Latino children in poverty are discussed.
... Children who attend centerbased care tend to fare better on indicators of school readiness (e.g., cognitive, language, and motor development) compared to children in family-based child care programs (Ansari & Winsler, 2012;Forry et al., 2013). Children who attend public school pre-K programs tend to do even better than children in centeror family-based programs on kindergarten measures of literacy, math, and social skills (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Forry et al., 2013). Moreover, children who attend pre-kindergarten are deemed more 'ready' for school on measures of language and math compared to children who do not attend pre-kindergarten (Forry et al., 2013). ...
... Students attended public school pre-K (56.8%), subsidized center-based care (42%), or subsidized family childcare (1.2%). This variable was used as a control factor and predictor because of prior research that demonstrated its importance for early achievement (Ansari & Winsler, 2016). Due to the small number of children in family childcare, center-based care and family childcare (both types of subsidy receipt) were combined to make this variable dichotomous. ...
... This finding adds to the growing body of research on publically-funded preschool programs showing positive improvements, on a national level, in the areas of social/emotional and academic growth (Phillips et al., 2017). And, specifically within this sample, the current findings echo other studies showing that children attending public school pre-K programs perform better than children who attended center-based care on kindergarten readiness assessments (Ansari & Winsler, 2016) and Grade 3 standardized math and reading tests (Ansari et al.,, 2017). ...
Article
A person-centered approach was used to explore how preschool school readiness profiles predict Grade 3 academic performance among a large (N = 43,044) low-income, ethnically-diverse longitudinal sample of children. Study aims: (a) determine the number and type of preschoolers’ school readiness profiles, (b) determine how profile membership relates to demographic characteristics, and (c) use the profiles to predict Grade 3 academic achievement. Six profiles were found: Pre-academic strength (PAS) strong school, average home behavior; PAS-average school, low home behavior; PAS-average school, strong home behavior; Pre-academic weakness (PAW) average school, low home behavior; PAW-low school, average home behavior; and Overall poor school readiness. Demographic characteristics were associated with profile membership, and profiles were differentially related to Grade 3 outcomes, after controlling for demographic factors. Results highlight the importance of starting school with strong social skills at school (vs. home) and the potential benefits of public school pre-K boosting children’s social/emotional skills.
... Most public pre-k programs are housed within public schools, and overall, such programs are associated with positive child outcomes. Public school prek programs appear to be beneficial in boosting school readiness, particularly for low-income children (Gormley et al., 2005;Winsler et al., 2008;Yoshikawa et al., 2013), Latino children, and children who are English Language Learners (ELLs) (Ansari & Winsler, 2012;Ansari et al., 2016;Gormley, 2008). ...
... contribute to children's school readiness and early academic success, in part, by increasing the stability of the early learning environment (avoiding a transition to a new school for kindergarten) (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Conger et al., 2019). The present study investigated the prevalence and predictors of school mobility between pre-k and kindergarten for children attending public school pre-k programs at age four. ...
... For example, Conger et al. (2019) found that while public school pre-k attendees had more positive outcomes in 1st grade compared to their peers who did not attend public school prek, results were more positive for students who stayed at the same school between pre-k and kindergarten. It is likely that staying at the same school for this transitional period allows children and families to become more familiar with teachers and administrators in the school (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Conger et al., 2019). ...
Article
Public school pre-k programs are not only effective in promoting children’s school readiness but are also potentially useful for easing the transition from pre-k to kindergarten. One possible reason for this ease of transition is eliminating the need for children to change schools when starting kindergarten. However, little is known about whether children actually stay at the same school for kindergarten that they attended for pre-k and what predicts school mobility between pre-k and kindergarten. Using data from a large (N = 18,775) and ethnically diverse (34.7% Black, 54.9% Latino, 10.3% White/other) sample of predominantly low-income children attending public school pre-k in Miami, we describe the prevalence, nature, and predictors of school mobility between the pre-k and kindergarten years. We found that 20.7% of students who attended public-school pre-k switched schools in the transition from preschool to kindergarten. Logistic regression analyses indicated that, before accounting for school quality, Black and Latino children (compared to White children) had higher odds of switching schools, as did children receiving free or reduced-price lunch. After accounting for school quality, Black children and children receiving free or reduced-price lunch no longer had higher odds of switching schools. Children attending lower-performing schools (compared to higher-performing schools) in pre-k had higher odds of switching schools. We also describe pre- and post-move school quality for different groups of children. Implications of school mobility between public school pre-k and kindergarten are discussed.
... A large body of research has consistently established that children who attend publicly-funded pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs have higher rates of kindergarten readiness than children who do not attend such programs (Ansari et al., 2017;Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Fitzpatrick, 2008;Gormley, Gayer, Phillips, & Dawson, 2005;Howes et al., 2008;Winsler et al., 2008;Yoshikawa et al., 2013). Research has also found that children who attend pre-K programs offered within public schools have better early outcomes than those in other childcare settings, including those who attend programs that are funded by other public sources (Forry, Davis, & Welti, 2013;Magnuson, Meyers, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2004;Magnuson, Ruhm, & Waldfogel, 2007;Winsler et al., 2008Winsler et al., , 2012. ...
... Our research aims to build on the promising findings from the Miami School Readiness Project (MSRP), which compared the academic outcomes of children in public school pre-K programs to those in center-based or family childcare with subsidies for lowincome families (Ansari et al., 2017;Ansari & Winsler, 2012De Feyter & Winsler, 2009;Winsler et al., 2008Winsler et al., , 2012. Notably, the MSRP found that children attending public school pre-K made greater gains than children attending center-based childcare in the areas of cognitive and language development at school entry and by the end of their kindergarten year (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Winsler et al., 2008). Furthermore, even after controlling for agefour school readiness skills, those attending public school pre-K programs were less likely to be retained in kindergarten than their peers who had attended community-based childcare . ...
... For ELL children, the enhanced school readiness from high quality public pre-K may lead to more rapid English language acquisition in early elementary school. Kim, Curby, and Winsler (2014), using MSRP data, found that ELL children who entered kindergarten with more advanced cognitive, language, and social skills (skills that are enhanced by attending public school pre-K programs - Ansari & Winsler, 2016) showed steeper growth in English proficiency in elementary school than students who entered school with fewer skills. ...
Article
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This study explores the short-run effects of state-funded, public school-based pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs on the early educational outcomes of students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Using data on all kindergarten students enrolled in the public schools in years 2006 and 2007, we examine differences in outcomes from pre-K to the early grades – promotion to first grade, school mobility, and exit from English language learner (ELL) status – for students who were enrolled in public school pre-K in the previous year as compared to students who entered the public school system at kindergarten. We find that children who participated in a public school pre-K program had higher rates of promotion to the first grade and higher rates of school stability between kindergarten and first grade. ELL children who enrolled in public school pre-K also had higher exit rates from ELL status by first grade compared to students who entered at kindergarten. Analyses explore the role of kindergarten schools and classrooms as well as school stability between pre-K and kindergarten as possible mediators.
... Quite similarly, in the 2004-2005 school year, in the entire state of Florida, 84% of students were declared ready, 12% were declared getting ready, and 5% were not ready (Florida Department of Education, 2005). These values are also very similar to those of children who experienced center-based care at age four in the larger community sample from which these data come, with 85.2% of children declared ready, 12.2% declared getting ready, and 2.5% considered not ready (Ansari & Winsler, 2016). ...
... There were 62.1% of the students who fell into the emerging skills category, 34.5% of students in the demonstrating category, and there were only 3.4% who were in the not yet category. These values compare similarly to kindergarteners in the larger community sample for those who attended center-based care (Ansari & Winsler, 2016) with 39.8% of those children falling in the demonstrating category, 45.8% falling in the emerging category, and 14.4% falling in the not yet category. Notably, fewer migrant children are falling in the not yet category, compared to the larger community sample, despite their increased poverty-related risk factors. ...
Article
Little is known about the early educational performance of children in migrant farmworker families. The authors examined the school readiness and early school success of 289 four-year-old preschool children of migrant families attending Redlands Christian Migrant Association centers. Children's school readiness was assessed and public school records were used for longitudinal follow-up. Children improved on age-4 school readiness domains, and although some struggled with emergent English literacy, many performed well on school readiness measures and later coursework. Children quickly became proficient in oral English, and had above-average school attendance. Many scored low on high-stakes tests; however, typically well enough for grade promotion. Students in the sample were comparable to similar students in poverty. School teachers and administrators should have high expectations for students from migrant families because many of them do stay in the public school system, and appear to be quite resilient despite many challenges they face.
... Father's education is required to predict whether the child will achieve better scores in all disciplines in primary education (Wamala et al. 2013;Sad and Gurbuzturk 2013;Alseraty 2015;Abdu-Raheem 2015). Types of publicly funded programs are most effective at preparing children for school (Claessens and Garrett 2014;Froiland et al. 2013;Chang 2013;Lin and Chen 2015;Zachrisson and Dearing 2015;Ansari and Winsler 2016). Researchers have also examined differences in effects of private tutoring and parenting behaviors on children's academic achievement between low and high income groups (Lee et al. 2014;Mulligan et al. 2014;Hartas 2015). ...
... Issues about timing of center care, centralized systems regulation and quality monitoring of the structural quality of ECEC settings as a protective factor would be an interesting topic to be addressed in future studies (Zachrisson and Dearing 2015;Vandenbroeck and Lazzari 2014). Future studies are also necessary to determine whether investing in public school-based pre-kindergarten programs is a better use of financial resources as compared with investments in childcare subsidies (Ansari and Winsler 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
To survey researchers’ efforts in depth in learning new problems, issues, motives on research related to children’s profiles; sculpting the literature into a clear and structed taxonomy; and determining the basic attributes of this research in terms of motivation and challenges, as well as recommendations and future studies. A focused search for each article was conducted on child profiles in four major databases: ScienceDirect, Web of Science, EBSCO, and ERIC. These databases are broad and sufficient to cover child profile studies in the literature. The initial query search resulted in 99 articles: (15/99) from ScienceDirect database, (45/99) from WoS, (23/99) from ERIC, and (16/99) articles from EBSCO, from 2011 to 2016. Those papers were thoroughly perused for the main purpose of developing a general map for research conducted on this emerging topic. Most of the articles (81.82%; 81/99) were measurement and evaluation papers; (15.15%; 15/99) were review and survey papers that refer to the literature in order to describe the child profile; and (3.03%; 3/99) were a design. Since 2011, researchers have followed the trend of child profile applications in many ways, while leaving certain aspects for further attention. Regardless of their categorization, articles focus on several challenges that hinder the full utility of child profile apps and do recommend mitigations. Research on child profiles is active and highly varied. In this paper, we hope that this review of previous studies will contribute to understanding the challenges and gaps that are available to other researchers to join this research line.
... It has also been recommended for psychological scientists (e.g., Imai, Keele, & Tingley, 2010). Although its use in child development research has been rare, notable exceptions (e.g., Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Crosnoe, 2009;McKellar, 1 Covariate adjustment controls for confounding factors using variance partitioning. The outcome variable is regressed on the predictor variable and simultaneously measured selection variables. ...
... In turn, the size of correlations for observed confounders that were included as covariates in regression models are used as benchmarks. If very large correlations with the confounder-relative to the size of correlations with observed covariates-would be required to invalidate a result, researchers have argued that their results are robust to unobserved selection bias (e.g., Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Crosnoe, 2009;McKellar et al., 2019). ...
Article
Correlational studies have played a major role in building our cumulative knowledge on child development. Yet as a result, we often have difficulty making causal inferences. The concern is selection effects: When children have not been randomly assigned to conditions, pre‐existing biological, psychological, or social factors may bias correlations. In this article, we draw attention to sensitivity analyses, statistical techniques for estimating the robustness or fragility of results in light of potential selection effects. We highlight the coefficient of proportionality method recently developed by Oster (2019), which does not require assumptions about the number of omitted selection variables. The coefficient of proportionality provides an indication of how large the impact of unobserved selection factors would need to be—relative to observed covariates—to nullify a result. We offer two empirical examples to demonstrate the value of this method compared with other approaches used by child development researchers.
... In a study of kindergarten readiness in Miami, Florida, Ansari and Winsler (2016) discovered that children who had attended a publicly funded prekindergarten program (n = 9,870) performed better on kindergarten entry assessments than their classmates who either received center-based care (n = 6,159) or family childcare (n = 147). Children who attended the publicly funded program had stronger emergent literacy skills according to the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). ...
Research
Full-text available
Although many children enter kindergarten having some form of preschool experience, the quality of these experiences differs greatly among the programs that are available to families. This variability can create school readiness gaps, especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds (Isaacs, 2012). Children not being ready for school has come to the attention of stakeholders around the country and in the Commonwealth of Virginia. According to a state-wide study, approximately 30% of the students entering Virginia’s schools either were not ready academically and/or behaviorally (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission [JLARC], 2017). Fortunately, the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) program was created to give students with the greatest risk of school failure an opportunity to overcome potential learning obstacles. The general purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a state-funded prekindergarten program in a rural school division in Central Virginia. Specifically, this study examined academic and behavioral data for four cohorts of kindergarten students to determine if students who participated in the VPI program performed better on school readiness measures compared to their peers without any preschool or prekindergarten experience. Two-tailed t-tests were used to determine if any significant differences existed on measures of literacy, mathematics, self-regulation, and social skills between students who attended a state-funded prekindergarten program to their peers without any prekindergarten or preschool experience.
... Kegagalan akademis merupakan salah satu dampak negatif dari rendahnya kualitas penyelenggaraan program PAUD. Program PAUD dengan kualitas yang unggul mampu meluluskan anak usia dini dengan kesiapan sekolah yang lebih baik (Ansari, A., & Winsler, 2016). Fakta-fakta akademik yang dicapai pelajar Indonesia telah menunjukkan bahwa terdapat permasalahan yang patut untuk ditelaah secara kritis. ...
Article
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Penelitian ini fokus pada penggalian data perencanaan manajemen PAUD Unggulan di Surakarta. Penelitian ini menggunakan pendekatan kualitatif deskriptif Data diperoleh dengan observasi dan wawancara menggunakan Google Form dengan narasumber terdiri dari kepala sekolah , guru kelas kelompok bermain, guru kelas kelompok A, guru kelas kelompok B, guru ekstrakurikuler tari, guru bahasa Inggris, dan guru ekstrakurikuler gambar. Penelitian ini mengungkap bahwa perencanaan manajemen kurikulum yang terdiri dari 7 (tujuh) indikator utama, merupakan komponen yang paling awal ditetapkan oleh lembaga PAUD Unggulan. Penetapan indikator perencanaan manajemen kurikulum ini berimplikasi pada perencanaan manajemen sumber daya manusia, sarana prasarana, pembiayaan, dan kerjasama.
... The majority of states require children to enroll in school by age 6 (26 states) or even 7 (14 states). State-funded pre-K programs, which have been shown to be effective for long-term academic outcomes (Ansari & Winsler, 2016), are still not available in all states or to all children within a state. These policies are inconsistent with evidence that SES affects development beginning in infancy Markant et al., 2016). ...
Article
This review proposes separate and distinct biological mechanisms for the effects of adversity, more commonly experienced in poverty, and socioeconomic status (SES) on child development. Adversity affects brain and cognitive development through the biological stress response, which confers risk for pathology. Critically, we argue that a different mechanism, enrichment, shapes differences in brain and cognitive development across the SES spectrum. Distinguishing between adversity and SES allows for precise, evidence-based policy recommendations. We offer recommendations designed to ensure equity in children’s experiences to help narrow the achievement gap and promote intergenerational mobility.
... However, many DLLs are children from low socio-economic status (SES) families, which offer home environments with fewer language stimulating activities (Scheele et al., 2010). SES is a strong predictor of child outcomes (Halle et al., 2012) and vocabulary development in DLLs (Mancilla-Martinez and Lesaux, 2011;Prevoo et al., 2014;Ansari and Winsler, 2016). Often families with low SES talk less to their children and tend to use a more limited range of vocabulary and grammatical structures (Hoff, 2013). ...
... For these children who do not experience preschool, one can imagine that their adjustment to the new demands and routines of kindergarten may be more challenging. Beyond experiences in a formal education setting that might facilitate a more seamless transition to school, the academic benefits of preschool are also well-documented, including for children of Latino origin and those learning English as a second language (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Bloom & Weiland, 2015;Crosnoe, 2007;. In fact, this group of children is more likely to benefit from participating in preschool than their monolingual classmates (Gormley, Gayer, Phillips, & Dawson, 2005;Loeb, Bridges, Bassok, Fuller, & Rumberger, 2007), suggesting that preschool programs can reduce the aforementioned disparities in children's academic achievement during the transition to formal schooling. ...
Chapter
The transition into kindergarten often serves as the basis for long-term disparities in educational attainment because initially small differences in early learning widen throughout the K-12 educational system. Given the long-standing disparities in their academic achievement related to being of low socioeconomic status and a racial/ethnic minority, the large and growing population of English language learners constitutes an important population in which to study the transition into formal schooling. The purpose of this book chapter is to describe the vulnerabilities faced by English language learners during this transitional period and the implications of this transition for their short- and long-term educational success. Throughout this chapter, we highlight how this transition into kindergarten may be amenable to policy intervention, its role in inequality, and how researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners can capitalize on the many strengths of these children and their families to facilitate a successful transition to school.
... However, many DLLs are children from low socio-economic status (SES) families, which offer home environments with fewer language stimulating activities (Scheele et al., 2010). SES is a strong predictor of child outcomes (Halle et al., 2012) and vocabulary development in DLLs (Mancilla-Martinez and Lesaux, 2011;Prevoo et al., 2014;Ansari and Winsler, 2016). Often families with low SES talk less to their children and tend to use a more limited range of vocabulary and grammatical structures (Hoff, 2013). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is about the first (L1) and second language (L2) skills of Turkish–German dual language learners (DLLs), the interrelatedness of the L1 and L2 skills, and their relation to other selected child and family variables. The first aim of the study was to examine L1 and L2 performance and the relation between the languages. Second, the study sought to explore the conditions in which functioning dual language development can be achieved, while trying to predict the extent to which child and environmental factors are related to the DLLs’ language competencies. L1 and L2 language skills of N = 69 bilingually developing 3–5 years old Turkish–German children were assessed via standardized tests. In addition, information on the children’s sociodemographic variables and home language environments was obtained by means of parental questionnaires. Correlational analyses were used to examine the interrelations between L1 and L2 skills and multiple regression analyses were conducted in order to predict the children’s language competencies. The children showed age-appropriate language skills in L1 (Turkish) and lower language skills in L2 (German). Whereas their phonological memory abilities were positively correlated with L1 and L2 skills, their expressive vocabulary in L1 was negatively correlated with L2 skills. Our findings also indicated that phonological memory was a strong predictor of language abilities. Concerning family variables, both early daycare entry and stimulating home language environment were significant predictors of better L2 skills. Lastly, balanced use of both languages at home had no negative consequences on language competencies. Although more research is needed, this study shows the benefits of using a combined language measure including both L1 and L2 skills to predict DLLs’ language competencies without disregarding either of their languages.
... The entire county (92%) of low-income 4-year-old children who were receiving childcare subsidies (for center-based or family/informal childcare) and those attending public school pre-K programs during the years 2002-2006 (N > 40,000, %60% Latino, 35% Black, and 5% White/Asian/ Mixed) were directly assessed for multiple dimensions of school readiness and then followed longitudinally throughout their schooling in MDCPS. Our research group has examined a variety of issues with this longitudinal dataset, including long-term outcomes associated with ECE programs (pre-K vs. center-based care vs. family childcare) (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Ansari et al., 2017;Winsler et al., 2008), predictors of English language acquisition for ELLs (Kim, Curby, & Winsler, 2014), predictors and outcomes of school retention (Tavassolie & Winsler, in preparation), entrance into gifted programs for Black males (Winsler et al., 2013), and the early educational progress of children in immigrant families (De Feyter & Winsler, 2009;De Feyter et al., 2018;Tavassolie, Lopez, De Feyter, Hartman, & Winsler, 2016). Part of the initial assessment involved parents and preschool teachers completing the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (Lebuffe & Naglieri, 1999) to gauge children's social skills and behavioral strengths at school entry (Winsler et al., 2008). ...
Chapter
Children’s social and behavioral skills prior to school entry are important components of school readiness that relate to long-term academic success. Parents and teachers, however, can have different perceptions of children’s strengths. We examined parent and preschool teacher reports of the social and behavioral skills of predominantly low-income Black and Latino preschool boys (N = 13,448) on the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA; Lebuffe and Naglieri in Devereux early childhood assessment. Kaplan Press, Lewisville, NC, 1999). We also examined the extent to which these reports predicted later academic outcomes in kindergarten and first grade. Teachers rated boys of color as having higher social skills and behavioral strengths than parents on all subscales, with parents of Black boys being particularly “tough” with their ratings. Latino preschoolers were perceived as showing slightly stronger skills than their Black peers. Both parent and teacher reports of child behavior at age 4 predicted GPA, test scores, and school suspension and retention in K and first grade, with parent ratings of socio-emotional skills being more predictive of later academic performance for Black boys than for Latino boys.
... The entire county (92%) of low-income 4-year-old children who were receiving childcare subsidies (for center-based or family/informal childcare) and those attending public school pre-K programs during the years 2002-2006 (N > 40,000, %60% Latino, 35% Black, and 5% White/Asian/ Mixed) were directly assessed for multiple dimensions of school readiness and then followed longitudinally throughout their schooling in MDCPS. Our research group has examined a variety of issues with this longitudinal dataset, including long-term outcomes associated with ECE programs (pre-K vs. center-based care vs. family childcare) (Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Ansari et al., 2017;Winsler et al., 2008), predictors of English language acquisition for ELLs (Kim, Curby, & Winsler, 2014), predictors and outcomes of school retention (Tavassolie & Winsler, in preparation), entrance into gifted programs for Black males (Winsler et al., 2013), and the early educational progress of children in immigrant families (De Feyter & Winsler, 2009;Tavassolie, Lopez, De Feyter, Hartman, & Winsler, 2016). Part of the initial assessment involved parents and preschool teachers completing the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (Lebuffe & Naglieri, 1999) to gauge children's social skills and behavioral strengths at school entry (Winsler et al., 2008). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Using a sample (N = 206) drawn from the Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009, we examined African-American and Latino toddlers’ early home environments: family resources (education, income, family structure); parental investments (maternal interactions and literacy activities, father caregiving, and learning materials); and parenting practices (routines, discipline). We also examined how these factors related to toddler’s social and language skills. Regarding potential promotive factors, we found divergence: Latino toddlers live in two-parent families with mothers who reported low levels of spanking, whereas African-American toddlers have mothers with at least a high school education. We also found convergence: children in both groups had fathers who were somewhat engaged in caregiving and a mother who was engaged in literacy activities daily; access to books and toys; and moderate levels of maternal sensitivity. Learning materials and father caregiving were the strongest predictors of Latino and African-American toddlers’ language skills, respectively. Father caregiving significantly predicted children’s African-American toddlers’ social competence at age 3. Results are discussed in light of implications for prevention and intervention work.
... Having classroom experience may help younger children adapt to kindergarten. Low-income students in publicly funded preschool in Miami showed greater readiness than those that had attended center-based care or home-care (Ansari and Winsler 2016). ...
Article
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Racial/ethnic disparities in grade retention related to structural inequality are investigated using a quantitative theoretical model from the health literature. Data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort are linked with segregation indices for dissimilarity and poverty interaction derived from the US Census 2000 data estimate the impact of individual and structural level variables on grade retention. Shared frailty models demonstrate that there are racial/ethnic differences in grade retention, much of which can be explained by structural inequality. Students who are white or African American have lower risk in areas with higher dissimilarity and poverty interaction. Parental involvement mediates the risk of retention.
... The goal of the original MSRP was to assess school readiness gains made among children from ethnically diverse, lower-SES backgrounds attending these programs to inform practice and quality improvement efforts in the county ( Winsler et al., 2008). In terms of the larger, local population, the MSRP represents approximately 55-60% of all low-income 4-year-olds in Miami-Dade County (Ansari & Winsler, 2016). Children not included are those who attended Head Start exclusively, those who were cared for exclusively by family members, and those who attended private care without childcare subsidies at age four. ...
Article
Early fine motor ability is significantly associated with later achievement, even after controlling for typical child-level predictors of school outcomes. Previous longitudinal studies have confirmed this but typically have not included low-income, at-risk populations. Research has distinguished two different aspects of fine motor skills: those that involve integrating motor information with visual-spatial information (i.e., visual-spatial integration; VSI) and those that rely mainly on coordination (i.e., fine motor coordination; FMC). This study examines the differential importance of early fine motor skills, measured during preschool, to later school performance from third through fifth grades, among a large (n = 34,491), primarily low-income, ethnically diverse sample of children. Research Findings: Overall, stronger VSI skills in preschool were associated with significantly better outcomes for children’s standardized math and reading test scores in third, fourth, and fifth grades even after controlling for gender, SES, and preschool cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills. FMC was associated with significantly better math outcomes across all three grade levels but was not associated with better reading performance. Practice or Policy: Results indicate that VSI is a good predictor of later school achievement, whereas FMC was not as strongly associated with later achievement. Implications for early childhood intervention are discussed.
... It is proved ( Li et al., 2012;Dong et al., 2017) that there is an undeniable relationship between the characteristics of the place and the behavior of the child in landscape spaces, and this applies to children attending different types of institutions -public, private DDU, centers or families for child care (Ansari & Winsler, 2016). ...
... Good quality ECE programs can prepare children with better readiness to attend schools (Ansari & Winsler, 2016). Every ECE program held by the community possesses certain purposes and expectations regarding the children's development. ...
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Student experiences information process causing particular behaviors while studying. Neuroscience is a study to understand behavior and mental process based on brain activity. In Indonesian, collaborative study between education and medicine on preschool-aged children’s neuroscience is still scarce. In fact that using this collaboration, some elements related to student’s behavior and information process can be seen. This paper spells out potential collaborative studies on neuroscience of preschool-aged children. This study is categorized into qualitative descriptive research. The data were collected through an in-depth interview with the head of education and research section of UNS Hospital and document study. The result of the study found a number of potential collaborative studies between UNS Hospital and ECE department of UNS, namely: 1) Assessing level of stress using Bio-neurofeedback; 2) Assessing Learning comfort using Electroencephalograph; 3) Assessing Interest and Aptitude using Electroencephalograph; and 4) Therapy on Gadget Addiction using Bio-neurofeedback. Those findings can be used as a basic for further research about neuroscience in early childhood.
... Prior studies have documented socioeconomic disparities in early development between children from rich and poor families in Western developed countries, indicating that those from low-SES families are more disadvantaged in terms of school readiness and developmental outcomes (e.g., Amso & Lynn, 2017;Ansari & Winsler, 2016;Brownell et al., 2016;Collison et al., 2007;Duncan & Magnuson, 2005;Guthridge et al., 2016). The understanding of the association between SES and school readiness in non-Western societies is still rather limited. ...
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There are concerns about the cultural validity of applying developmental screeners developed and normed in Western countries to other sociocultural contexts. Given the scarcity of culturally validated developmental checklists for use among Chinese children, the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children (HKSPC) has developed the HKSPC Developmental Checklist (HKSPC-DC) for preschool teachers to identify children at risk of developmental delays through daily observation of children’s functioning at school. This study explored the psychometric properties of the HKSPC-DC among 1183 preschool children aged 2–6 recruited from 14 nursery schools in Hong Kong. The HKSPC-DC showed excellent internal consistency, good interrater and test–retest reliabilities, and acceptable concurrent validity when correlated with the Taipei City Developmental Checklist for Preschoolers (Taipei II), which is the only screening instrument developed in a Chinese society and validated across 4- to 72-month-olds. The HKSPC-DC also showed good discriminatory power in identifying preschoolers potentially at risk of developmental delays. This screening tool may help facilitate early identification of children with developmental vulnerabilities in Chinese preschool populations.
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This study examines the Denver Preschool Program (DPP), a voter-approved sales tax initiative that provides a tuition credit for four-year old children to attend preschool. Using propensity weighting and doubly robust modeling on ten cohorts of kindergartners from 2009–2010 through 2018–2019, we found DPP participants were more likely to read at grade level and less likely to be retained or to be chronically absent than their similarly-situated non-DPP peers. The absolute magnitude of the effect sizes for reading achievement and chronic absenteeism ranged from 0.21 to 0.28, and were considered substantively important. The relationships were stronger for DPP participants who had enrolled in a school-based, pre-kindergarten program than DPP participants who had enrolled in a community-based preschool, and the effect sizes were almost twice as large for pre-kindergarten participants than for community-based participants on reading achievement. Policy implications are discussed.
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Research Findings: The study examined the relationship between Spanish-speaking DLL children’s engagement within the preschool classroom with teachers, peers, and tasks and their school readiness skills compared to monolingual English-speaking peers. Results suggested that DLL children had lower language skills and phonological awareness by the end of the preschool year. However, children’s positive engagement with teachers mediated the relationship between DLL status and children’s language skills. Finally, the relationship between children’s engagement and school readiness outcomes differed by whether children are DLL or monolingual; for DLL children, positively engaging with teachers, peers, and tasks were positively associated with their receptive and expressive vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print knowledge skills. Practice or Policy: The findings highlight how children’s classroom engagement, particularly DLLs, is associated with their school readiness outcomes. That is, DLL and monolingual children are experiencing different levels of engagement expose potential inequities in the levels of quality experienced within classrooms. Classrooms must maximize the opportunities for DLLs to practice their language skills with peers, in particular, across languages as a way of supporting their development.
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Many children in the USA spend a significant amount of time in center-based childcare. However, research has yet to explore their information practices in this setting. This study investigates young children’s perceptions of the concept of information and their own information-seeking practices within the context of their day care classroom. The participants included 13 children between three and five years of age. Data was collected using participant observation, semi-structured interviews, child-led photo tours, and photo-elicitation interviews. The findings indicate that the children did not perceive the concept of information in a manner consistent with adult understandings of the term, and that they engaged in information-seeking related to finding out new things on their own, through interactions with others, and through classroom resources, activities, and routines. The findings have implications for both researchers and practitioners working with young children.
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An early adopter of public preschool (i.e., pre-kindergarten, "pre-k"), evidence from Baltimore City, Maryland, can provide insight for those working to improve access to early education opportunities. We followed a cohort of children entering kindergarten in Baltimore City Public Schools during the 2007-2008 year through the 2010-2011 academic year. Students were grouped by pre-k experience: public pre-k (n = 2828), Head Start (n = 839), Head Start plus public pre-k (n = 247), private pre-k (n = 993), or informal care (n = 975). After adjusting for individual- and school-level characteristics, students from the Head Start plus public pre-k group were the most likely to enter kindergarten with the foundational skills and behaviors needed to be successful (vs. all groups, P ≤ .001). Students in informal care were the least likely to enter kindergarten with this skillset (vs. all pre-k groups P ≤ .001). Children from informal care were also significantly more likely than all other groups to be chronically absent in kindergarten (P ≤ .001). By third grade, children from informal care were least likely to be reading on grade level and most likely to have been retained a grade (vs. all pre-k groups P ≤ .001). Children from disadvantaged populations who were not enrolled in pre-k faced significant difficulties keeping up with their peers throughout elementary school; interventions to improve their transition to school and increase their likelihood of academic success are warranted. Universal preschool is likely to improve education outcomes for children in urban areas.
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As a result of No Child Left Behind, Florida began mandatory 3rd grade retention for children who fail the high-stakes reading Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test [FCAT]. We examined enforcement practices of this policy. We examined a large (N = 27,980), ethnically diverse, urban sample. Of those who took the FCAT reading test in 3rd grade, 15% failed, and of those who failed, only 53% actually repeated 3rd grade. Black and Latino students, those receiving free/reduced lunch, those who were not yet English proficient, and those in special education were more likely to fail the test. The same variables predicted which students were retained after having failed the FCAT, with the exception of ethnicity. Children who had a lower GPA in 3rd grade had greater odds of being held back after failing the FCAT, even while controlling for relevant demographic variables. We discuss implications for the potential marginalization of vulnerable groups from high-stakes retention policies.
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Because children from low-income families benefit from preschool but are less likely than other children to enroll, identifying factors that promote their enrollment can support research and policy aiming to reduce socioeconomic disparities in education. In this study, we tested an accommodations model with data on 6,250 children in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort. In general, parental necessity (e.g., maternal employment) and human capital considerations (e.g., maternal education) most consistently predicted preschool enrollment among children from low-income families. Supply side factors (e.g., local child care options) and more necessity and human capital factors (e.g., having fewer children, desiring preparation for school) selected such children into preschool over parental care or other care arrangements, and several necessity factors (e.g., being less concerned about costs) selected them into non-Head Start preschools over Head Start programs. Systemic connections and child elicitation did not consistently predict preschool enrollment in this population. (PsycINFO Database Record
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Despite consensus that school absenteeism has negative consequences for children's life outcomes, until recently, little was known about the prevalence of absenteeism or its potential to moderate the impacts of school-based interventions. This study provides evidence from a randomized experiment of a preschool intervention involving 1876 children in 64 schools in Chile that chronic absenteeism develops in preschool and is predicted by multiple risk factors for poor academic achievement. We find moreover that individual children's likelihood of absenteeism moderated the intervention's impact on children's language and literacy outcomes such that there were positive impacts of the intervention only for children with the lowest likelihood of absenteeism. Experimental evaluations of school-based interventions that do not take absenteeism into account may thus mask heterogeneous effects. In the context of policy pushes to expand early education and preschool access in the United States and globally, these moderation analyses may prove essential for appropriately interpreting the results of experimental studies of school-based interventions.
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Little is known about the holistic development of children who are not healthy-weight when they start school, despite one fifth of preschool-aged children in high income countries being overweight or obese. Further to this, there is a paucity of research examining low body mass index (BMI) in contemporary high-income populations, although evidence from the developing world demonstrates a range of negative consequences in childhood and beyond. We investigated the development of 4–6 year old children who were thin, healthy-weight, overweight, or obese (as defined by BMI z-scores) across the five domains of the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC): Physical Health and Wellbeing, Social Competence, Emotional Maturity, Language and Cognitive Skills, and Communication Skills and General Knowledge. We used a linked dataset of South Australian routinely collected data, which included the AEDC, school enrollment data, and perinatal records (n = 7533). We found that the risk of developmental vulnerability among children who were thin did not differ from healthy-weight children, after adjusting for a range of perinatal and socio-economic characteristics. On the whole, overweight children also had similar outcomes as their healthy-weight peers, though they may have better Language and Cognitive skills (adjusted Risk Ratio [aRR] = 0.73 [95% CI 0.50–1.05]). Obese children were more likely to be vulnerable on the Physical Health and Wellbeing (2.20 [1.69, 2.87]) and Social Competence (1.31 [0.94, 1.83]) domains, and to be vulnerable on one or more domains (1.45 [1.18, 1.78]). We conclude that children who are obese in the first year of school may already be exhibiting some developmental vulnerabilities (relative to their healthy-weight peers), lending further support for strategies to promote healthy development of preschoolers.
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The federal Head Start program, designed to improve the school readiness of children from low-income families, often serves 3- and 4-year-olds in the same classrooms. Given the developmental differences between 3- and 4-year-olds, it is unknown whether educating them together in the same classrooms benefits one group, both, or neither. Using data from the Family and Child Experiences Survey 2009 cohort, this study used a peer-effects framework to examine the associations between mixed-age classrooms and the school readiness of a nationally representative sample of newly enrolled 3-year-olds (n = 1,644) and 4-year-olds (n = 1,185) in the Head Start program. Results revealed that 4-year-olds displayed fewer gains in academic skills during the preschool year when they were enrolled in classrooms with more 3-year-olds; effect sizes corresponded to 4 to 5 months of academic development. In contrast, classroom age composition was not consistently associated with 3-year-olds’ school readiness.
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Much of child care research has focused on the effects of the quality of care in early childhood settings on children's school readiness skills. Although researchers increased the statistical rigor of their approaches over the past 15 years, researchers' ability to draw causal inferences has been limited because the studies are based on nonexperimental designs. The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate how an instrumental variables approach can be used to estimate causal impacts of preschool center care quality on children's academic achievement when applied to a study in which preschool curricula were randomly assigned across multiple sites. We used data from the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research Initiative (PCER; n = 2,700), in which classrooms or preschools were randomly assigned to that grantee's treatment curriculum or "business as usual" conditions in 18 research sites. Using this method, we demonstrate how developmental researchers can exploit the random-assignment designs of multisite studies to investigate characteristics of programs, such as preschool center care quality, that cannot be randomly assigned and their impacts on children's development. We found that the quality of preschool care received by children has significant, albeit modest, effects on children's academic school readiness, with effect sizes of .03 to .14 standard deviation increases in academic achievement associated with a 1 standard deviation increase in quality. Applications and potential policy implications of this method are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
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Although it is well established that Black male students are underrepresented in gifted educational programs in the United States, due to a scarcity of longitudinal prospective research, little is known about the protective factors at the child, family, and school level that increase the probability of Black male students being identified as gifted during early elementary school. Using data from the Miami School Readiness Project, we followed 6,926 low-income Black males from preschool through 5th grade to describe trajectories for the 453 Black males (6.5 %) who were identified as gifted, and examined child, family, and preschool variables associated with gifted classification. Boys were most commonly identified as gifted in first and second grade, and 15 % of the identified boys did not appear to be receiving gifted courses. Hierarchical multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that being classified as gifted in early elementary school was more likely for Black males who (a) attended public school pre-K programs at age four, (b) had higher cognitive, language, fine motor, behavioral, and emergent literacy school readiness skills before entering kindergarten, (c) spoke a language other than English at home, (d) were older upon entering kindergarten, (e) received higher grades in school, and (f) scored higher on standardized tests of math and reading. Predictors of gifted identification in the kindergarten year were different and weaker compared to identification in later years. Implications for early identification and intervention for talented Black males are discussed.
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We summarize the available evidence on the extent to which expenditures on early childhood education programs constitute worthy social investments in the human capital of children. We provide an overview of existing early childhood education programs, and then summarize results from a substantial body of methodologically sound evaluations of the impacts of early childhood education. The evidence supports few unqualified conclusions. Many early childhood education programs appear to boost cognitive ability and early school achievement in the short run. However, most of them show smaller impacts than those generated by the best-known programs, and their cognitive impacts largely disappear within a few years. Despite this fade-out, long-­run follow-ups from a handful of well-­known programs show lasting positive effects on such outcomes as greater educational attainment, higher earnings, and lower rates of crime. It is uncertain what skills, behaviors, or developmental processes are particularly important in producing these longer-­run impacts. Our review also describes different models of human development used by social scientists, examines heterogeneous results across groups, and tries to identify the ingredients of early childhood education programs that are most likely to improve the performance of these programs.
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ABSTRACT Regression coefficients cannot be interpreted as causal if the relationship can be attributed to an alternate mechanism. One may control for the alternate cause through an experiment (e.g., with random assignment to treatment and control) or by measuring a corresponding confounding variable and including it in the model. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances under which it is not possible to measure or control for the potentially confounding variable. Under these circumstances, it is helpful to assess the robustness of a statistical inference to the inclusion of a potentially confounding variable. In this article, an index is derived for quantifying the impact of a confounding,variable on the inference of a regression coefficient. The index is developed for the bivariate case and then generalized to the multivariate case, and the distribution of the index is discussed. The index also is compared with existing indices and procedures. An example is presented for the relationship between socioeconomic background and educational attainment, and a reference distribution for the index is obtained. The potential for the index to inform causal inferences is discussed, as are extensions. INTRODUCTION: “BUT HAVE YOU CONTROLLED FOR ...?” As is commonly noted, one must be cautious in making causal inferences from statistical
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Attendance in preschool centers can yield short-term benefits for children from poor or middle-class families. Yet debate persists in Europe and the United States over whether centers yield gains of sufficient magnitude to sustain children's cognitive or social advantages as they move through primary school. We report on child care and home environments of 229 children in the US who were 2½ years of age (on average) at entry to the study. Among children attending a center at 2½ or 4½ years of age, cognitive proficiencies were significantly higher at 7½ years of age, compared with children in home-based care, after taking into account prior proficiency levels, maternal attributes, and other covariates. No relationship between center attendance and social development, positive or negative, was detected at 7½. A priori selection factors modestly helped to explain the likelihood that mothers enrolled their child in a center. But associations between center exposure and higher cognitive proficiency at age 7½ remained after controlling for selection factors and testing for omitted variables bias.
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Attendance in U.S. preschools has risen substantially in recent decades, but gaps in enrollment between children from advantaged and disadvantaged families remain. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999, we analyze the effect of participation in child care and early education on children’s school readiness as measured by early reading and math skills in kindergarten and first grade. We find that children who attended a center or school-based preschool program in the year before school entry perform better on assessments of reading and math skills upon beginning kindergarten, after controlling for a host of family background and other factors that might be associated with selection into early education programs and relatively high academic skills. This advantage persists when children’s skills are measured in the spring of kindergarten and first grade, and children who attended early education programs are also less likely to be retained in kindergarten. In most instances, the effects are largest for disadvantaged groups, raising the possibility that policies promoting preschool enrollment of children from disadvantaged families might help to narrow the school readiness gap.
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Latino children often struggle in school. Early childhood education programmes are seen as critical for fostering children's school readiness. Latino families often choose family childcare (FCC) over centre-based childcare (CBC), yet little is known about the school readiness of Latino children attending FCC. We compared school readiness over the pre-kindergarten year for low-income Latino children who attended either FCC or CBC with childcare subsidies. Teachers and parents rated children's social skills and behaviour with the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment. Cognitive, motor, and language development were assessed with the Learning Accomplishment Profile Diagnostic. Although there were no family demographic differences between children who attended FCC versus CBC, children in CBC improved over time in cognitive, language, and social skills, whereas children in FCC stayed the same or lost ground in these areas over time, especially boys. The school readiness of Latino children, especially boys, may be better served by attending CBC.
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In light of persistent Black-White achievement gaps for boys, this study examined publicly monitored risks believed to be associated with being behind academically for an entire subpopulation of African American boys in a large urban public school district. Also examined were indicators of academic engagement hypothesized to mediate the relations between risks and low achievement. Findings indicated that the Black-White achievement gap for boys was matched by a comparable difference in risk experiences. Multilevel linear regression models controlling for poverty found that both the type and accumulation of risk experiences explained a significant amount of variation in reading and mathematics achievement for the subpopulation of African American boys. Socio-familial risks were related to the poorest academic outcomes. Academic engagement indicators significantly mediated relations between risks and achievement. Implications of this research for collective school and community actions to make race, gender, and place matter in educational public policy were discussed.
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Abstract— Research evidence supports the importance of a high-quality early education to foster young children’s school readiness and success. In particular, programs that focus on eliminating the readiness gap for young minority children, including dual language learners (DLLs), have increased in importance given the current demographic shifts in the United States and the need to promote learning in the early years. This article discusses current knowledge about effective instructional strategies for promoting language and literacy development among young DLLs. It presents a brief summary of research on the relationship between oral language and literacy development, reviews instructional practices and language of instruction approaches, and concludes with recommendations for policy and future research.
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The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care compared 3 statistical methods that adjust for family selection bias to test whether child care type and quality relate to cognitive and academic skills. The methods included: multiple regression models of 54-month outcomes, change models of differences in 24- and 54-month outcomes, and residualized change models of 54-month outcomes adjusting for the 24-month outcome. The study was unable to establish empirically which model best adjusted for selection and omitted-variable bias. Nevertheless, results suggested that child care quality predicted cognitive outcomes at 54 months, with effect sizes of .04 to .08 for both infant and preschool ages. Center care during preschool years also predicted outcomes across all models.
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Criminologists are often interested in examining interactive effects within a regression context. For example, “holding other relevant factors constant, is the effect of delinquent peers on one's own delinquent conduct the same for males and females?” or “is the effect of a given treatment program comparable between first-time and repeat offenders?” A frequent strategy in examining such interactive effects is to test for the difference between two regression coefficients across independent samples. That is, does b1= b2? Traditionally, criminologists have employed a t or z test for the difference between slopes in making these coefficient comparisons. While there is considerable consensus as to the appropriateness of this strategy, there has been some confusion in the criminological literature as to the correct estimator of the standard error of the difference, the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of coefficient differences, in the t or z formula. Criminologists have employed two different estimators of this standard deviation in their empirical work. In this note, we point out that one of these estimators is correct while the other is incorrect. The incorrect estimator biases one's hypothesis test in favor of rejecting the null hypothesis that b1= b2. Unfortunately, the use of this incorrect estimator of the standard error of the difference has been fairly widespread in criminology. We provide the formula for the correct statistical test and illustrate with two examples from the literature how the biased estimator can lead to incorrect conclusions.
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This paper considers whether expanding access to center-based early childhood education (ECE) will reduce economic inequality later in life. A strong evidence base indicates that ECE is effective at improving young children's academic skills and human capital development. We review evidence that children from low-income families have lower rates of preschool enrollment than their more affluent peers. Our analysis indicates that increasing enrollments for preschoolers in the year before school entry is likely to be a worthy investment that will yield economic payoffs in the form of increased adult earnings. The benefits of even a moderately effective ECE program are likely to be sufficient to offset the costs of program expansion, and increased enrollment among low-income children may reduce later economic inequality.
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This study leverages nationally representative data (N ≈ 6,000) to examine the magnitude of quality differences between (a) formal and informal early childhood education and care providers; (b) Head Start, prekindergarten, and other center-based care; and (c) programs serving toddlers and those serving preschoolers. It then documents differences in children's reading and math skills at age 5 between those who had enrolled in formal and informal settings. Cross-sector differences are substantially reduced when accounting for a set of quality measures, though these measures do less to explain more modest differences in outcomes within the formal sector. Results inform current efforts aimed at improving the quality of early childhood settings by highlighting the large quality differences across sectors and their relationship with child development.
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This study examined whether Head Start, the nation’s main two-generation program for low-income families, benefits children in part through positive changes in parents’ use of spanking and reading to children. Data were drawn from the 3-year-old cohort of the national evaluation of the Head Start program known as the Head Start Impact Study (N = 2,063). Results indicated that Head Start had small, indirect effects on children’s spelling ability at Age 4 and their aggression at Age 4 through an increase in parents’ reading to their children. Taken together, the results suggest that parents play a role in sustaining positive benefits of the Head Start program for children’s behavior and literacy skills, one that could be enhanced with a greater emphasis on parent involvement and education.
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The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a holistic measure of children's health and development. Local communities and service providers can use AEDC results to develop support for children and their families. A core concept in supporting child development is to provide services in a progressive universal framework. A challenge for progressive universal services is identifying, as early as possible, the children who are most at risk of later poor health and development. This study used de-identified, linked perinatal and AEDC data for 13,827 children to explore whether characteristics routinely collected in the perinatal period can predict which children will be vulnerable on two or more AEDC domains in their first year at school. A model containing 22 perinatal predictors demonstrated similar discrimination to a model of six predictors (maternal age, smoking during pregnancy, parity, marital status, and both parents' occupation, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.682 males, 0.724 females). If these six characteristics were used for targeting intensive support services, and the program targeted families with at least three of the six perinatal risk factors, approximately 10% of families in the population would be identified as needing an intensive intervention soon after birth. Sensitivity of the risk prediction model showed that such a targeted program would have the potential to prevent one-quarter of the cases of being vulnerable on two or more AEDC domains at age five. When assessing whether such prediction models could be turned into useful screening tools for determining eligibility for family support services, service providers need to consider the trade-off between sensitivity and the proportion of the population that would require services.
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A growing body of evidence suggests that engagement with quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs such as preschool can enhance children’s early development. The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) provides a unique opportunity to explore the relationship between ECEC and children’s developmental outcomes in a full population cohort of Australian school entrants. The AEDC is a teacher-rated checklist that provides data on ECEC experiences in the year before starting school, as well as five important domains of child development at school entry: physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and communication skills and general knowledge. In 2009, the AEDC was completed for 97.5% of Australian children in their first year of formal schooling (N = 261,147; M = 5 years, 7 months of age). Logistic regression analyses revealed that attendance at preschool was associated with reduced odds (OR = 0.69, p < 0.001 to OR = 0.40, p < 0.001) of being in the vulnerable range (<10th percentile) on four of the five AEDC domains (with the exception of emotional maturity; OR = 0.89, p = 0.002), compared to other ECEC experiences, or care exclusively by parents. Subsequent analyses revealed that this effect was evident for children living in both advantaged and disadvantaged communities. Together, the results suggest that engagement with preschool programs in Australia may present a plausible, equitable, and modifiable approach to improving children's developmental outcomes.
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In the United States, federally funded child-care subsidies offer a unique opportunity to influence low-income children's early education and, in so doing, affect their development. To understand the role of child-care subsidies in children's lives, we must answer the following questions about their impact: How does receiving subsidies affect (a) the type of care children receive, (b) the quality of care children receive, and (c) their developmental outcomes? Theoretically, the answers to these questions should cohere, yet they do not; though subsidies increase exposure to the type and quality of care known to predict more optimal outcomes for children, the direct effect of subsidies on outcomes has been null or negative. In this article, we review research on child-care subsidies to describe its inconsistencies and offer explanations, a timely endeavor in light of the 2014 reauthorization of legislation on child-care subsidies.
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This study tested a conceptual model of the reciprocal relations among parents’ support for early learning and children’s academic skills and preschool enrollment. Structural equation modeling of data from 6,250 children (Ages 2 to 5) and parents in the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort revealed that parental support for early learning was associated with gains in children’s academic skills, which, in turn, were associated with their likelihood of preschool attendance. Preschool experience then was associated with further gains in children’s early academic competencies, which were then associated with increased parental support. These patterns varied by parents’ nativity status. Specifically, foreign-born parents’ support for early learning was directly linked with preschool enrollment, and the association between the academic skills of children and parental support was also stronger for foreign-born parents. These immigration-related patterns were primarily driven by immigrant families who originated from Latin America, rather than Asia, and did not vary by immigrants’ socioeconomic circumstances. Together, these results underscore the value of considering the synergistic relations between the home and school systems, as well as “child effects” and population diversity, in developmental research.
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We investigate the persistence of short-term effects of a high-quality school-based pre-kindergarten program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We analyze third-grade reading and math scores for two cohorts of students eligible to participate in pre-kindergarten in 2000–2001 and 2005–2006, using boosted regression and propensity score matching to select a comparison group of local students who did not participate in the pre-K program. For the early cohort, we find no evidence of persistence of early gains. For the late cohort, we find that early gains persist through third grade in math but not reading, and for boys but not for girls. We discuss possible reasons for the pattern of findings, though our study design does not allow us to identify the causal mechanisms of persistence.
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Using data (n = 3,790 with 2,119 in the 3-year-old cohort and 1,671 in the 4-year-old cohort) from 353 Head Start centers in the Head Start Impact Study, the only large-scale randomized experiment in Head Start history, this article examined the impact of Head Start on children's cognitive and parent-reported social-behavioral outcomes through first grade contingent on the child care arrangements used by children who were randomly assigned to the control group (i.e., parental care, relative/nonrelative care, another Head Start program, or other center-based care). A principal score matching approach was adopted to identify children assigned to Head Start who were similar to children in the control group with a specific care arrangement. Overall, the results showed that the effects of Head Start varied substantially contingent on the alternative child care arrangements. Compared with children in parental care and relative/nonrelative care, Head Start participants generally had better cognitive and parent-reported behavioral development, with some benefits of Head Start persisting through first grade; in contrast, few differences were found between Head Start and other center-based care. The results have implications regarding the children for whom Head Start is most beneficial as well as how well Head Start compares with other center-based programs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
Drawing on a sample of Latino American children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth cohort (ECLS-B), this paper uses propensity score matching to examine the relation between care arrangements the year before kindergarten and math and literacy outcomes, in English, at kindergarten entry. Care arrangements included: Head Start (federally-funded center-based care for young children from low-income families), pre-kindergarten (state-funded center-based care), other-center care, parental care, and other-home care (care provided in a home, by relatives other than a parent or non-relatives). For literacy, results revealed that (1) Latino children in center-based care (Head Start, pre-kindergarten, and other-center) scored higher than Latino children in other-home care and (2) Latino children in Head Start (but not pre-kindergarten or other-center) scored higher than Latino children in parental care. For math, Latino children in other-center care outperformed Latino children in other-home care and Head Start. No significant differences emerged among Head Start, pre-kindergarten, or other-center for math or literacy outcomes. Follow-up analyses indicate that quality of care helps to explain the significant differences. Policy implications are discussed.
Article
Early education and care programs (EEC) serve important functions in promoting children's school readiness skills and supporting parental employment. Yet knowledge remains limited concerning factors inhibiting or increasing families’ use of EEC programs for their young children and whether such factors function differently as children age. This study employed nationally representative data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) following 10,700 children from infancy through early childhood to assess predictors of home and center-based EEC and to delineate whether predictors differed by developmental period. Drawing on Meyers and Jordan's (2006) rich accommodations model of EEC selection, analyses found that factors associated with family needs and resources (parental employment, income, education, and family structure), cultural norms and preferences (race, ethnicity, and immigration status; geographic location; child characteristics; and parental priorities regarding EEC characteristics) and contextual opportunities and constraints (availability of care in the community) were all associated with selection into EEC settings. Many patterns were similar for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, although race/ethnicity, employment, and availability were most strongly linked to EEC type during infancy, whereas parental priorities for features associated with higher-quality care programs predicted EEC most strongly for preschoolers. Results are discussed in terms of efforts to increase family choice and access to EEC programs.
Article
Research has found disparities in young children's development across income groups. A positive association between high-quality early care and education and the school readiness of children in low-income families has also been demonstrated. This study uses linked administrative data from Maryland to examine the variations in school readiness associated with different types of subsidized child care, and with dual enrollment in subsidized child care and state pre-kindergarten or Head Start. Using multivariate methods, we analyze linked subsidy administrative data and portfolio-based kindergarten school readiness assessment data to estimate the probability of children's school readiness in three domains: personal and social development, language and literacy, and mathematical thinking. Compared to children in subsidized family child care or informal care, those in subsidized center care are more likely to be rated as fully ready to learn on the two pre-academic domains. Regardless of type of subsidized care used, enrollment in pre-kindergarten, but not Head Start, during the year prior to kindergarten is strongly associated with being academically ready for kindergarten. No statistically significant associations are found between type of subsidized care, pre-kindergarten enrollment, or Head Start and assessments of children's personal/social development.
Article
The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationships among proportion of instruction in Spanish, observed classroom quality, and preschool-aged children's academic skills. Study participants included 357 Spanish-speaking 4-year-old children who attended state-funded pre-kindergarten programs in 11 states that participated in one of two studies: the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten (Multi-State Study) and the NCEDL-NIEER State-Wide Early Education Programs Study (SWEEP Study). Children's spring language, reading, and math scores were analyzed using multi-level models to test whether amount of instruction in Spanish and the observed classroom quality predicted skill levels at the end of pre-kindergarten. Spanish-speaking children's reading and math scores were higher when they received more instruction in Spanish in classrooms with more responsive and sensitive teachers. These findings suggest that the provision of instruction in Spanish in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs appears to enhance acquisition of academic skills for Spanish-speaking children who enter pre-kindergarten with limited English.
Article
Performance assessment, an alternative approach to assessing students' achievements in school, refers to assessment methods that allow students to demonstrate their skills, knowledge, behavior, and accomplishments across a wide variety of classroom domains on multiple occasions. This article presents data concerning the reliability and validity of the Work Sampling System with 100 kindergarten-age children. A psychometric design was implemented in which children were enrolled in classrooms where the Work Sampling System was used and were also given individually-administered norm-referenced assessments in the fall and spring; in addition, their teachers completed a behavior rating scale in the spring. Results show that the Work Sampling checklist and summary report have very high internal and moderately high interrater reliability. The Work Sampling System accurately predicts performance on the norm-referenced achievement battery, even when the potential effects of gender, maturation (age), and initial ability are controlled. These data provide empirical support for the reliability and criterion validity of this performance assessment system as a measure of children's overall school achievement in kindergarten. The discussion covers issues raised by the study's design and by the use of performance assessment in general.
Article
Publicly funded prekindergarten programs have achieved small-to-large impacts on children's cognitive outcomes. The current study examined the impact of a prekindergarten program that implemented a coaching system and consistent literacy, language, and mathematics curricula on these and other nontargeted, essential components of school readiness, such as executive functioning. Participants included 2,018 four and five-year-old children. Findings indicated that the program had moderate-to-large impacts on children's language, literacy, numeracy and mathematics skills, and small impacts on children's executive functioning and a measure of emotion recognition. Some impacts were considerably larger for some subgroups. For urban public school districts, results inform important programmatic decisions. For policy makers, results confirm that prekindergarten programs can improve educationally vital outcomes for children in meaningful, important ways.
Article
This report addresses the following four questions by reporting on the impacts of Head Start on children and families during the children's preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade years: (1) What difference does Head Start make to key outcomes of development and learning (and in particular, the multiple domains of school readiness) for low-income children? (2) What difference does Head Start make to parental practices that contribute to children's school readiness? (3) Under what circumstances does Head Start achieve the greatest impact? What works for which children? (4) What Head Start services are most related to impact? The Head Start Impact Study was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 84 grantee/delegate agencies and included nearly 5,000 newly entering, eligible 3- and 4-year-old children who were randomly assigned to either: (1) a Head Start group that had access to Head Start program services or (2) a control group that did not have access to Head Start, but could enroll in other early childhood programs or non-Head Start services selected by their parents. The study was designed to separately examine two cohorts of children, newly entering 3-and 4-year-olds. This design reflects the hypothesis that different program impacts may be associated with different age of entry into Head Start. Differential impacts are of particular interest in light of a trend of increased enrollment of the 3-year-olds in some grantee/delegate agencies presumably due to the growing availability of preschool options for 4-year-olds. Consequently, the study included two separate samples: a newly entering 3-year-old group (to be studied through two years of Head Start participation i.e., Head Start year and age 4 year, kindergarten and 1st grade), and a newly entering 4-year-old group (to be studied through one year of Head Start participation, kindergarten and 1st grade). The study showed that the two age cohorts varied in demographic characteristics, making it even more appropriate to examine them separately. The racial/ethnic characteristics of newly entering children in the 3-year-old cohort were substantially different from the characteristics of children in the newly entering 4-year-old cohort. While the newly entering 3-year-olds were relatively evenly distributed between Black children and Hispanic children (Black children 32.8%, Hispanic children 37.4%, and White/other children 29.8%), about half of newly entering 4-year-olds were Hispanic children (Black children 17.5%, Hispanic children 51.6%, and White/other children 30.8%). The ethnic difference is also reflected in the age-group differences in child and parent language. This report presents the findings from the preschool years through children's 1st grade experience. This document consists of the Executive Summary and nine chapters. Chapter 1 presents the study background, including a literature review of related Head Start research and the study purpose and objectives. Chapter 2 provides details about the study design and implementation. It discusses the experimental design, sample selection prior to random assignment, data collection, and data analysis. To provide a context in which to understand the impact findings, Chapter 3 examines the impact of Head Start on the services and child care settings that children experience prior to starting school. It also provides the impact of Head Start on the educational and child care settings, setting characteristics, and services that children experience during kindergarten and 1st grade. Chapters 4 through 7 present the impact of Head Start on children's outcomes and parenting practices for the years before school and then for kindergarten and 1st grade. Chapter 4 presents the impact of Head Start on children's cognitive development, Chapter 5 presents the impact of Head Start on children's social-emotional development, Chapter 6 presents the impact of Head Start on children's health status and access to health services, and Chapter 7 presents the impact of Head Start on parenting practices in the areas of educational activities, discipline practices, and school involvement. Chapter 8 examines variation in impacts by child characteristics, parent and family characteristics, and community characteristics. Chapter 9 provides an overall summary of the findings, implications for the Head Start Program, and unanswered questions. Appendices in this volume include the Head Start Impact Study legislation, a list of the official Head Start Impact Study Advisory Committee members, the language decision form used to determine the language in which the child was assessed, and data tables that elaborate on the findings presented in the volume (e.g., Impact on Treated (IOT) findings). The findings from a sample of programs in Puerto Rico are also provided in an appendix. Programs in Puerto Rico were included in the study with the intent that data on children in these programs would be analyzed along with the data on children in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, once children reached school-age. (Contains 1 figure, 117 footnotes, and 114 exhibits.) [The ERIC version of this document contains the following supplementary materials: Head Start Impact Study Main Impact Tables, 2003 through 2006; and Head Start Impact Study Subgroup Impact Tables, 2003 through 2006. For the "Head Start Impact Study Technical Report," see ED507846. For the "Head Start Impact Study Final Report. Executive Summary," see ED507847.]
Article
Although intensive early childhood interventions and high quality preschool programs have been shown to foster children's school readiness, little is known about the school readiness gains made by ethnically and linguistically diverse children in poverty receiving subsidies to attend center-based childcare or those in public school pre-kindergarten programs. Within the context of a large-scale, university-community applied research and evaluation project, The Miami School Readiness Project, children receiving subsidies to attend center-based childcare (n = 1478), children attending free Title 1 public school pre-k programs (n = 1611), and children attending fee-supported public school pre-k programs (n = 749) were individually assessed at the beginning and end of their pre-kindergarten year in the areas of cognitive, language, and fine motor development. Parents and teachers reported on children's socio-emotional strengths and behavior concerns. Findings revealed that although children from all types of programs made considerable school readiness gains in most areas in terms of their national relative standing, children attending public school pre-k programs typically made somewhat greater gains in the areas of cognitive and language development. Results suggest that center-based childcare programs in the community may be beneficial for fostering school readiness within ethnically diverse children in poverty, and that public school pre-kindergarten programs may show even greater gains in some areas. Policy implications are discussed.
Article
Though much valuable research has been conducted on the academic achievement of school-age immigrant youth, less is known about the early developmental competencies of immigrant children during the preschool years. This study describes the school readiness of 2194 low-income children receiving subsidies to attend child care with emphasis on how nativity status (generation), race/ethnicity, and national origins might be related to children's preparedness for kindergarten. The Learning Accomplishment Profile-Diagnostic (LAP-D) was used to measure cognitive and language skills, while teacher-report on the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment (DECA) measured socio-emotional protective factors and behavior concerns. Results demonstrate that variation does exist in school readiness according to nativity-based factors. First- and second-generation immigrants lagged behind children in non-immigrant families in cognitive and language skills but excelled by comparison in socio-emotional skills and behavior. In many cases, first-generation immigrant children showed more advanced development than second-generation immigrant children, providing some evidence in the early years for an immigrant advantage. The present study raises awareness regarding some of the strengths immigrant children demonstrate from a very young age-strengths that can be built upon to encourage their later success and academic achievement.
Article
Examined the reliability, validity, and sensitivity of 3 experimental measures developed to assess 3 areas of early literacy: phonological awareness, vocabulary development, and fluency in letter naming. The measures were designed for repeated use to identify children with difficulty acquiring basic early literacy skills and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions for these children. Ss were 37 kindergarten and 41 1st-grade children. Results suggest that the measures displayed adequate psychometric properties for kindergarten children who were not yet reading. Reliabilities were moderate to high and evidence was obtained for the criterion-related validity of the measures. Sensitivity of the measures was supported, although further research is needed. As expected, the experimental measures were less useful for 1st graders who were reading well. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Combining conceptual models from immigration and educational research, this study investigated whether a normative antecedent to the transition to formal schooling in the contemporary U.S. – early child care – links Mexican immigrant status to various aspects of school readiness. Regression models with nationally representative data revealed that children from Mexican immigrant families were overrepresented in parental care and underrepresented in center-based care compared to their native peers from other race/ethnic populations, which helped to explain a significant but small portion of their generally lower rates of both math achievement and externalizing symptoms in kindergarten. This mediating role of early child care, however, paled in comparison to family socioeconomic circumstances.
Article
Using rich longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten cohort (ECLS-K), we find that children who attended preschool enter public schools with higher levels of academic skills than their peers who experienced other types of child care (effect size of .14). This study considers the circumstances under which the preschool advantage persists, that is, the types of classrooms in which students who did not attend preschool “catch up” to their counterparts who did. Specifically, we focus on two dimensions of the early school environment—class size and the level of academic instruction provided. The findings suggest that most of the preschool-related gap in academic skills at school entry is quickly eliminated for children placed in small classrooms and classrooms providing high levels of reading instruction. Conversely, the initial disparities persist for children experiencing large classes and lower levels of reading instruction. These results point out that the longer-term effects of early childhood experience partly depend on classroom experiences during at least the first years of school.
Article
This paper examines the effects of different child-care arrangements on children's cognitive and social proficiencies at the start of kindergarten. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we identify effects using OLS, matching and instrumental variables estimates. Overall, center-based care raises reading and math scores, but has a negative effect for socio-behavioral measures. However, for English-proficient Hispanic children, the academic gains are considerably higher and the socio-behavioral effects are neutral. The duration of center-based care matters: the greatest academic benefit is found for those children who start at ages 2–3 rather than at younger or older ages; negative behavioral effects are greater the younger the start age. These patterns are found across the distributions of family income. The intensity of center-based care also matters: more hours per day lead to greater academic benefits, but increased behavioral consequences. However, these intensity effects depend on family income and race.