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IES Grant

Title: Early Intervention Graduates at Kindergarten: Analyses of Outcomes from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS)
Center: NCSER Year: 2007
Principal Investigator: Hebbeler, Kathleen Awardee: SRI International
Program: Early Intervention and Early Learning in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3/1/2007 to 2/28/2009 Award Amount: $539,828
Goal: Exploration Award Number: R324A070064
Description:

Purpose: The number of infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Relatively little is known about the relation between participation in early intervention services and subsequent child outcomes.

The purpose of this project is to take advantage of data from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS) to investigate whether participation in and characteristics of early intervention services predict child outcomes in kindergarten. The NEILS was established in 1996 by the U.S. Department of Education to collect information on a nationally representative sample of children who receive Part C services. The dataset includes information on children who received early intervention services, which services they received, and their status and outcomes on multiple measures at entry to early intervention, 36 months of age, and kindergarten.

Project Activities: Researchers will conduct secondary analyses of extant data from the NEILS. The relationships between characteristics of early intervention services (e.g., type, amount, focus, and quality), disability or risk (e.g., low birth weight, diagnosed condition), and child outcomes in kindergarten (e.g., receipt of special education, social skills, literacy skills, mathematics skills, and school readiness) will be examined.

Products: Expected products include reports on which kinds of early intervention services are associated with better outcomes in kindergarten for children with disabilities and children at risk.

Structured Abstract

Purpose: The number of infants and toddlers receiving early intervention services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has more than doubled in the last 15 years. Relatively little is known about the relation between participation in early intervention services and subsequent child outcomes.

The purpose of this project is to take advantage of data from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS) to investigate whether participation in and characteristics of early intervention services predict child outcomes in kindergarten. The NEILS was established in 1996 by the U.S. Department of Education to collect information on a nationally representative sample of children who receive Part C services. The dataset includes information on children who received early intervention services, which services they received, and their status and outcomes on multiple measures at entry to early intervention, 36 months of age, and kindergarten.

Setting: A sample of 20 states was selected for the NEILS to recruit a nationally representative sample of 3,338 children and families. Nine of these states served the largest number of children receiving early intervention services in Part C. For the remaining 11 states, the country was divided into three regions, and states were randomly selected from each region. The 20 states are diverse with regard to population, region of the country, early intervention lead agency, whether children at risk were served, and the percentage of the population from birth to age 3 served.

Population: The population of interest is children who received early intervention services. All children entered the study at birth to 31 months of age and were participants in early intervention services for the first time.

Intervention: This study does not involve a predetermined intervention. Instead, it will suggest possible characteristics of early intervention as it is currently practiced across the country that are found to correlate with child outcomes in kindergarten.

Research Design and Methods: The project is examining an extant database for relations between predictor and outcome variables while controlling for the effects of possible moderating or mediating variables. The overarching question being addressed is, "Do characteristics of early intervention services relate to child outcomes at kindergarten?" The relationships between characteristics of early intervention services (e.g., type, amount, focus, and quality) and child outcomes (e.g., receipt of special education, social skills, literacy skills, mathematics skills, and school readiness) will be examined for children without diagnosed conditions, children with low birth weight, children with only a speech or language problem, and children with a diagnosed condition.

Control Condition: There is no control condition in this design.

Key Measures: Measures are limited to data available in the NEILS database. Child outcome variables are measured by a set of primary caregiver and teacher survey items on topics such as developmental accomplishments; functioning; communication, social, and academic skills; engagement; independence; need for special services; overall health; participation in the general education classroom; and receipt of special education and related services. Other variables of interest include child characteristics such as disability-related characteristics, gender, and ethnicity and family characteristics such as family structure, income, and parental education.

Data Analytic Strategy: The data analysis strategy includes the use of multivariate regression models and propensity score matching to address whether characteristics of early intervention services relate to child outcomes in kindergarten. In addition, analyses will address direct and indirect child and family influences in relation to early intervention service characteristics.


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