Cover: Going to Scale with High-Quality Early Education

Going to Scale with High-Quality Early Education

Choices and Consequences in Universal Pre-Kindergarten Efforts

Published Mar 15, 2005

by Rachel Christina, J. Goodman

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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.

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.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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