Policy Reports

Early Education Enrollment and Expenditure Patterns 1995-2005

April 2011

These papers report on enrollments and expenditures for ECCE across the decade from 1995 to 2005 using three harmonized National Household Education Surveys. They explore the metrics of enrollment patterns by age of child, mother’s employment, marital status, expenditure patterns and prices paid per hour of services.

Early Learning Scale: Technical Report

September 2010

This technical report from NIEER researchers on the Early Learning Scale, a performance-based assessment measure that uses student data collected through observation and work sampling, offers information on the use and reliability of the instrument and on the validity of the data. The Early Learning Scale was developed by NIEER in response to requests by educators for a "comprehensive, standards-based assessment system capable of informing instruction and making an impact on teaching and learning."

New Jersey Preschool Expansion Assessment Research Study (PEARS)

December 2009

The capacity and quality of non-Abbott child care centers, Head Start programs, and school district preschool programs across New Jersey are assessed in this study by NIEER.

The APPLES Blossom: Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES), Preliminary Results through 2nd Grade

July 2009

An ongoing study of New Jersey’s pre-K program finds that attending the program reduces grade retention and improves language, literacy and math skills.

Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications

September 2008

Amid debate over the benefit of preschool programs, this new brief examines what researchers currently know about the potential of those programs to bring about positive change.

The Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study (APPLES)

June 2007

This report presents the results of a longitudinal study of New Jersey's public preschool program, which found that children attending the program improve in language, literacy and math skills through the end of their kindergarten year.

Building Early Childhood Facilities: What States Can Do to Create Supply and Promote Quality

April 2007

Much of the growth in early care and education can be attributed to research that shows the educational, social, and economic benefits of high-quality preschool education. As states' efforts to provide access to publicly funded high-quality early care and education continue to expand, ensuring an adequate supply of quality preschool facilities promises to become an increasingly important public policy function. This report explores common facility issues and outlines strategies for policymakers to address early care and education facility needs.

A Review of the Reason Foundation's Report on Preschool and Kindergarten

October 2006

An analysis by NIEER of the Reason Foundation's report Assessing proposals for preschool and kindergarten: Essential information for parents, taxpayers and policymaker.

Policy Report - Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility

October 2006

This policy report examines the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the United States, noting that many current programs fail to enroll even half of low-income 3- and 4-year-olds or to improve learning and development, and explaining that intensive interventions, featuring highly qualified teachers and small class sizes, such as the model Abecedarian and Perry Preschool programs, are the most effective.

The authors conclude that increased investment in preschool could raise social mobility. Increasing the educational effectiveness of early childhood programs as well as increasing participation rates would provide for greater gains in social mobility.

Policy Report - Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does "Readiness" Mean?

March 2005

This policy report examines key issues for public policy related to school readiness, the relationship between school readiness and other factors in young children’s lives, and challenges in readying children for kindergarten.

Policy Report - Making the Most of Kindergarten

March 2005

This policy report examines academic and social outcomes of half-day versus full-day kindergarten and trends in provision of full-day programs. Recommendations include balancing anticipated gains from expanding kindergarten schedules against cost considerations and developing classroom and teacher support strategies when moving to full-day.

Policy Report - The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children

March 2005

This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families. Recommendations include expanding publicly funded preschool programs to include middle-income children and strengthening standards for child care and early education programs.