Early Childhood Education

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The years before a child begins school are critical in setting the stage for future learning: Adequate preparation for kindergarten is instrumental in determining later success in school. RAND research has informed the debate on balancing the costs and benefits of preschool and early childhood education in the United States and Europe.

  • pre-school girls drawing

    Report

    Evaluating Delaware Stars for Early Success

    Jun 9, 2014

    As a first step in a larger study of Delaware Stars, a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning and care programs, RAND researchers reviewed prior literature, examined existing data, and interviewed key stakeholders.

  • A kindergarten teacher with children at the computer, photo by CEFutcher/iStock

    Report

    Early Childhood Educators and Technology

    Nov 3, 2014

    Early childhood education (ECE) providers are in a position to help ensure that technology is used effectively. While there are obstacles, there are also courses of action that might be helpful in creating ECE providers who can ensure appropriate, intentional, and productive use of technology among young kids.

Explore Early Childhood Education

  • Preschool teachers or caregivers reading to children

    Commentary

    Investing in Kids Can Yield High Returns: Q&A with Dr. Lynn A. Karoly

    There is strong evidence of large potential economic returns to investing in high quality early childhood programs, but that doesn't mean that every program will generate equally large returns. Many programs likely have a “threshold” of quality and intensity that needs to be achieved in order to register positive returns.

    Apr 8, 2015

  • U.S. President Barack Obama playing a game with children in a pre-kindergarten classroom

    Commentary

    Benefit-Cost Analyses of Child and Family Preventive Interventions

    In thinking about scaling programs and services for children, youth, and families, the research community should consider economic evidence as part of their research programs in order to inform funding decisions.

    Mar 12, 2015

  • A young boy coloring

    Project

    Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Children in Memphis

    Through research and policy analysis, RAND is helping the Urban Child Institute (UCI) support the health and well-being of young children in Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee. The partnership focuses on translating research data into positive community action.

    Jan 28, 2015

  • A toddler holds an electronic tablet

    Essay

    Tech for Tots: Learning to Use the Power of Technology to Enrich Kids' Lives

    When it comes to youngsters and technology use, how much is too much? How young is too young? RAND is on the case, to help prepare children for success in school and life.

    Jan 20, 2015

  • Mom watches on as her baby contemplates steps

    Tool

    Investing in Early Social and Emotional Development Is Key

    For children to flourish and succeed, they must be able to problem solve, handle stress and develop resilience, and interact appropriately with peers and adults. A study of children in Shelby County, Tennessee identifies factors in the home, child care setting, and community that contribute to social and emotional development.

    Jan 15, 2015

  • A mother and child outside together

    Journal Article

    Minority Parents' Perspectives on Racial Socialization and School Readiness in the Early Childhood Period

    Very young minority children have already been alerted by their parents to unfair treatment due to racial discrimination.

    Jan 8, 2015

  • A simple bar chart made of building blocks

    Journal Article

    Using Existing Data to Improve QRIS Effectiveness

    Through a "virtual pilot" of California's proposed quality rating and improvement system (QRIS), policymakers received valuable data to inform its design—potentially improving the effectiveness of evaluating early childhood education programs in the state.

    Dec 16, 2014

  • A teacher helps a girl use a digital tablet

    Commentary

    Helping Teachers Overcome Technology Barriers in Early Childhood Education

    When it comes to helping children appreciate the benefits of using technology in a classroom setting, early childhood education providers play a critical role integrating that technology appropriately, intentionally, and productively. But these educators face myriad barriers to fulfilling these roles.

    Nov 21, 2014

  • Father and son using an electronic tablet on bunk beds

    Report

    Improving Family Engagement in Early Childhood Education Through Technology

    Technology may afford new opportunities to improve early childhood education outcomes by empowering families to become better educators at home, and strengthening the connection and communication between school and home.

    Nov 17, 2014

  • Three preschool children using a tablet on the floor

    Commentary

    Access to Technology Is Key to Early Childhood Education

    For children from all income classes to benefit from the proper use of technology in early childhood education, providers, families, and children themselves must have access to an adequate technology infrastructure, including devices, connectivity, and software.

    Nov 4, 2014

  • A kindergarten teacher with children at the computer

    Report

    Early Childhood Educators and Technology

    Early childhood education (ECE) providers are in a position to help ensure that technology is used effectively. While there are obstacles, there are also courses of action that might be helpful in creating ECE providers who can ensure appropriate, intentional, and productive use of technology among young kids.

    Nov 3, 2014

  • Young boy with tablet

    Report

    Identifying an Adequate Technology Infrastructure for Early Childhood Education

    Infrastructure (devices, software, and connectivity) should support technology's potential to improve learning and build digital literacy among young kids. But many factors make “adequate infrastructure” a moving target, such as the myriad of choices on the market.

    Oct 20, 2014

  • Preschoolers in a classroom looking at a tablet with their teacher

    Blog

    The Role of Technology in the Lives of Children

    On a typical day, children ages 3-5 spend an average of four hours with technology, and technology use is increasing among children of all ages. Debates about the role of technology in early childhood education are ongoing, with some providers, parents, and others yet to be convinced of its potential benefits.

    Oct 10, 2014

  • Little boy with tablet and mother

    Report

    Moving Beyond Screen Time: Appropriate Technology Use for Young Children

    Appropriate technology use by young kids has traditionally focused on a single, blunt measure: “screen time.” But technology and patterns of use have changed. A more comprehensive definition should also consider what technology and content kids use, how they use it, and why.

    Oct 8, 2014

  • Three preschoolers looking at a laptop with their teacher

    Report

    Identifying Goals for Technology Use in Early Childhood Education

    Technology use among young children is increasingly a fact of life. Establishing a clear set of goals that are broadly accepted by stakeholders is critical to planning for the successful integration of technology into early childhood education.

    Sep 22, 2014

  • Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility, June 18, 2014

    Commentary

    With Child Migrants Set to Become Students, Educators Must Prepare

    Between 70,000 and 90,000 unaccompanied children are expected to cross the U.S.-Mexico border by year's end. Lost in an intensifying debate over U.S. immigration policy is the possibility that this wave will spill from shelters to schools. To best respond to this reality, policymakers and educators should consider what research says about educating migrant children.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • group of young children in art class

    Project

    Innovative Preschool Academy Project

    RAND is helping bring evidence-based practice into Hopkins House's Innovative Preschool Academy (IPA), an early childhood education center located in Northern Virginia.

    Jun 13, 2014

  • two preschool children using colored pencils

    Commentary

    Narrowing the Income Achievement Gap

    The achievement gap between children from the highest- and lowest-income families has substantially grown since 1960. The income achievement gap is now about twice the size of the black-white achievement gap.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • woman playing with toddler

    Report

    Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage: Early Childhood Interventions and Progression to Higher Education in Europe

    In the long term, early childhood education and care (ECEC) can boost the academic abilities of disadvantaged students, thus enabling them to pursue higher studies. Whether ECEC results in increased access to higher education remains to be seen.

    Jun 12, 2014

  • pre-school girls drawing

    Report

    Evaluating Delaware Stars for Early Success

    As a first step in a larger study of Delaware Stars, a voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning and care programs, RAND researchers reviewed prior literature, examined existing data, and interviewed key stakeholders.

    Jun 9, 2014

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