RAND Study Points Out Challenges States Are Grappling with As They Expand High-Quality Preschool Programs
Aug 23, 2005
Choices and Consequences in Universal Pre-Kindergarten Efforts
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The movement toward universal pre-kindergarten (pre-K) presents policymakers and implementers with many new challenges. In their attempts to go to scale with high-quality early education programs, these leaders and decisionmakers find themselves with little guidance on how to proceed. In an initial effort to respond to the situation, this report looks at the challenges confronting states that are seeking to create statewide public systems of high-quality pre-K services, as well as some of the progress they have made in doing so. Drawing on a review of the literature and interviews with pre-K personnel in a representative sample of eight U.S. states, the report examines the policy choices and debates involved in implementing pre-K in an environment of fiscal uncertainty, focusing on the key issues of funding, auspice, access, accountability, and staffing. In addition, it looks at the unintended effects of particular universal pre-K policy choices on other child populations, families, and communities.
Research Methods and Sample Description
Setting the Stage: Impetus and Context for Universal Pre-Kindergarten
The Heart of the Matter: Impact of Multiple Funding Sources
Whose Baby is This? Auspice and Aegis
Approaching “Universalism” and Ensuring Access
Ensuring High-Quality Offerings Through Accountability
The Human Factor: Developing and Maintaining Quality Staff
Program Cuts by State
The research described in this report was conducted within RAND Education, a division of the RAND Corporation. This research was funded by The Heinz Endowments and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, members of the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative.
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