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Resource roundup: Early childhood education

Resource roundup: Early childhood education

By Meredith Lukow
April 23, 2018

Looking for research on early childhood education? Researchers across the 10 Regional Educational Laboratories (RELs) have been hard at work on this topic. Check out recent early childhood resources on the transition to kindergarten, assessment and data collection, program quality, the workforce, and literacy from around the REL system below.

Transition to kindergarten

  • Effectiveness of home visiting programs on the transition to kindergarten (January 2018): This Ask A REL response from REL Midwest outlines the available research on the link between home visiting programs and children’s transition to kindergarten.
  • Coordination between early learning programs and local educational agencies to ensure successful transition from early learning (January 2018): This Ask A REL response from REL Mid-Atlantic outlines the available research on the alignment, collaboration, and coordination between early learning programs—such as Head Start and state-funded preK—and local educational agencies to help children become school ready.
  • Equipping Parents to Support Kindergarten Readiness (May 2017): This webinar from the REL Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance explores the nonacademic components of school readiness and addresses how child care providers can help parents prepare children for kindergarten.
  • Building Capacity for School Success in Families of Young English Learner Students (September 2015): This REL West webinar discusses activities that can create a linguistically rich home and school environment to support young English learner students’ school readiness.

Kindergarten entry assessments

  • Scientific evidence for the validity of the New Mexico Kindergarten Observation Tool (December 2017): This REL Southwest study investigated the use of New Mexico’s kindergarten entry assessment to measure distinct domains of children’s knowledge and skills at kindergarten entry. An accompanying video provides an overview of the findings.
  • Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) Data Use Webinar (November 2017): This REL Midwest Early Childhood Education Research Alliance webinar helps Illinois teachers use their classrooms’ KIDS results to set education goals and action steps.
  • How kindergarten entry assessments are used in public schools and how they correlate with spring assessments (October 2016): This study, conducted by REL Northeast & Islands, examined how many public schools nationwide used kindergarten entry assessments (KEAs), and for what purposes; the characteristics of public schools that used KEAs; and whether the use of KEAs was correlated with student assessment scores in reading and mathematics.

Early childhood program quality

  • Quality improvement efforts among early childhood education programs participating in Iowa’s Quality Rating System (March 2017): This REL Midwest study found that early childhood education programs that provide key staff with 15 or more training hours per year are more likely to increase quality ratings over time than programs that do not.
  • The “I” in QRIS Survey (February 2017): This tool, developed by REL Midwest, helps states collect data on the improvement activities and strategies used by early childhood education providers participating in a quality rating and improvement system.
  • The Building Blocks of Our Future: A Look at Quality Early Education (December 2016): A collaboration between REL Midwest and WFYI in Indianapolis, this public television program shares how early childhood programs can incorporate developmentally appropriate academic content and highlights three Indiana programs that provide high-quality experiences, including for students in rural areas and those living in poverty.
  • Patterns of classroom quality in Head Start and center-based early childhood education programs (October 2016): This exploratory study, conducted by REL Northeast and Islands, shows an alternative way to measure classroom quality and provides an example of what patterns of classroom quality exist in programs serving Head Start-eligible children across the country.

Early childhood workforce

  • The Path Forward for the Early Education Workforce: National Policies and Examples from Vermont (October 2017): This REL Northeast & Islands webinar introduces participants to The Early Childhood Workforce Index, which provides a comprehensive look at early childhood workforce issues and policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Educator outcomes associated with implementation of Mississippi’s K–3 early literacy professional development initiative (April 2017): This study, conducted by REL Southeast, examined changes in teacher knowledge, student engagement, and teaching competencies during the period in which the Mississippi Department of Education began providing early literacy professional development to K–3 teachers.
  • Increasing Professional Development Participation of Iowa Early Childhood Programs: This REL Midwest infographic shows how states can encourage increased professional development participation from home-based program staff.

Early literacy

  • Effectiveness of Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) (October 2017): This Ask A REL response from REL Midwest outlines the available research on effectiveness of DIBELS at assessing student reading skills, identifying students who may require additional reading support, and predicting future reading performance.
  • What is the evidence base to support reading interventions for improving student outcomes in grades 1–3? (April 2017): This REL Southeast study provides administrators, school psychologists, counselors, special educators, and reading specialists with a summary and analysis of the evidence that supports the use of reading interventions in grades 1–3.
  • Self-study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions (April 2016): This tool from REL Southeast helps district and school-based practitioners conduct self-studies for planning and implementing early literacy interventions for kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 students.

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Author(s) Information

Meredith Lukow Picture

Meredith Lukow

Communications Associate | REL Midwest


Beating the odds (2)

Charter Schools (2)

College and Career Readiness (42)

Data Use (32)

Discipline (4)

Early Childhood (31)

Educator Effectiveness (36)

English Learners (10)

Literacy (11)

Math (1)

Online Courses (7)

Research Tools (2)

Rural (14)

Teacher Preparation (24)

Teacher Recruitment (2)

Teacher Retention (2)

Teacher Workforce (14)

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