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IES Grant

Title: Development of the Annual State of Preschool Report and Necessary Supporting Data
Center: NCES Year: 2015
Principal Investigator: Barnett, William Awardee: Rutgers University
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (6/1/2015 5/31/2018) Award Amount: $972,719
Award Number: R305U150004

Purpose: A wide body of literature over decades of study indicates high-quality early childhood education programs can have long-term benefits for children, their families, and society. The "State of Preschool" report makes a significant contribution to the field of early childhood research, allowing policymakers, practitioners, scholars, reporters, and parents to observe trends in the funding, standards, and provision of state of early childhood programs nationwide. The goal of the report "is to collect current information on the policies, reach, and funding of current state-funded programs to inform policymakers, researchers, and the public." The report provides information necessary to promote data-driven, effective policy which will positively impact educational outcomes. The longitudinal nature of the data collection helps paint a picture of the status of the field, indicating areas of progress and highlighting where states have lost ground in providing high-quality pre-K. The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) collects information through an online survey sent to state early childhood specialists in each state with a state-funded pre-K program, which was 40 states plus the District of Columbia in the 2013–2014 school year. The objectives of the "State of Preschool" data collections are to collect data on public policies and programs from state agencies responsible for providing early childhood education, and to release a report summarizing the data from the collection for both the nation as a whole and for individual states. The full dataset and associated codebook will be released along with the report. While the information collected through the "State of Preschool" survey is publicly available information, it is often difficult to find program spending and enrollment data centralized in one place. Rather than combing public records, NIEER has cultivated relationships with state early childhood specialists, who are the leading administrators of these state programs. These administrators complete a survey requesting information on enrollment, funding, and program standards.