Reference Resources iconReview Protocols

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviews in this topic area focus on early childhood education (ECE) interventions designed for use in school- or center-based settings with 3- to 6-year-old children who are not yet in kindergarten and are attending a center-based program. The primary focus for early childhood education interventions is on cognitive, language, and behavioral competencies associated with school readiness (specifically, language, cognitive, and social-emotional development, print knowledge, phonological processing, early reading and writing, and math).

Systematic reviews of evidence in this topic area address the following questions:

  • Which ECE interventions improve preschool children’s school readiness (specifically, their language, cognitive, and social-emotional development, print knowledge, phonological processing, early reading and writing, and math)?
  • Does the effectiveness of ECE interventions differ by type of outcome?
  • Which ECE interventions are particularly effective for which children?


Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Eligibility Criteria and Evidence Standards
  • Literature Search Methodology

Protocol Details

  • Version: 3.0
  • Released: January 2014

What is a Protocol?

A review protocol defines the scope of a systematic review. Developed with substantive experts, the protocol defines the parameters for the review, including the research, populations, settings, and outcomes. The protocol also specifies details of the literature search and any topic-specific applications of the design standards.

Protocol versions reflect the version of WWC standards in effect when the protocol was released. Protocol versions that predate the current version of the WWC standards handbook can be used to identify acceptable outcome domains for review within a given topic. The current WWC standards are used to guide the review of studies with acceptable outcomes.

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