MDRC is looking at programs to enhance the quality of preschool settings through innovative teacher-training and evidence-based strategies, in order to promote low-income children’s social and emotional development and behavioral and academic readiness for school.

The Latest
Brief

This study investigates whether naturally occurring lotteries, which approximate random assignment, can be used to evaluate the long-term effects of instructional alignment—standards, curricula, and assessments that build on one another from pre-K to elementary school—on children in Boston Public Schools. It concludes that they can.

Brief

This brief outlines how Head Start programs responded to the ever-evolving public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—shifting activities to virtual formats, adapting in-person activities to local restrictions, and maintaining connections with families and community providers.

Key Documents
Report

Exploratory Findings from the Head Start CARES Demonstration

This report suggests that evidence-based approaches can improve 3-year-olds’ social-emotional competence in mixed-age preschool classrooms. While the findings are promising, further research is needed to confirm the results and to better understand how these benefits are generated.

Issue Focus

MDRC’s Portfolio in Early Childhood Education

Today, leaders from across the political spectrum are calling for new investments in early childhood education. But many important questions remain about how to make the most of the promise of preschool and related interventions. MDRC’s portfolio of research and demonstration projects is tackling some of the biggest ones.

 

Issue Focus

A Summary of Impact and Implementation Findings from Head Start CARES

This two-page issue focus summarizes the main findings from Head Start CARES, a test of three distinct classroom-based approaches to enhancing children’s social-emotional development: Incredible Years Teacher Training Program, Preschool PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies), and Tools of the Mind–Play.