The goal of early childhood education is to improve academic and social behavioral outcomes for children from birth through third grade. IES supports rigorous and relevant research in education and special education, evaluation, and survey data collection to improve the school readiness skills of young children and examine children's early learning and development during the preschool years (birth to five years old), as well as as children's progress through school (K–3rd grade and beyond). Early childhood initiatives at IES include evaluation studies and technical assistance programs; grant programs to fund research on prekindergarten children (ages 3 to 5); research on infants, toddlers, and young children (birth to five) with or at risk for disabilities; and cross-sectional and longitudinal studies.
Regional Educational Laboratory's Joyful Reading Webinar Series
In early 2021, REL West hosted a webinar series for preK–1st grade educators on storybook reading, culturally affirming instruction, and connecting with parents and families. The first webinar presented a research-based storybook reading routine, discussed the culturally affirming aspects of stories, and shared ideas from elementary principals for creating school-to-home connections. The second webinar focused on the relationship between creativity and language and literacy development and how to integrate creative expression activities into practice. Resources available include recordings and slides from both events and reading activity worksheets in English and Spanish.