In this commentary originally published by New America, Meghan McCormick and Christina Weiland argue that states should make investing in high-quality early childhood and kindergarten programs a priority in their pandemic recovery efforts.
In this commentary originally published in Route Fifty, experts from MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science and BIT North America describe how government agencies can use behavioral science to adapt policies, programs, and services during the continuing pandemic crisis.
Using Behavioral Economics to Increase On-Time Child Care Subsidy Renewals
This study assessed three different behavioral strategies for providers and clients aimed at increasing the timely renewal of child care subsidies, in order to ensure consistent client services. The findings suggest that strategies designed for staff who work directly with clients may be a fruitful area for future work.
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.
How Classroom Management Training Can Help Teachers
Foundations of Learning provided training and in-class support to teachers to help guide children’s behavior and emotional development. In Newark, NJ, the program improved teachers’ classroom management and productivity, reduced children’s conflict with peers, and increased children’s engagement. A year later, few effects for children were sustained as they entered kindergarten, but teachers were still engaged in positive practices.
Telephone Care Management for Medicaid Recipients with Depression, Eighteen Months After Random Assignment
A telephonic care management program increased the use of mental health services by Medicaid recipients with depression, although that effect faded over time. The program did not reduce depression on average, but it did reduce the number of people who suffered from very severe depression.
CEO, a transitional jobs program for former prisoners in New York City, had its strongest effects for participants who were at highest risk of recidivism, for whom CEO reduced the probability of rearrest, the number of rearrests, and the probability of reconviction two years after entering the program.
This report seeks to answer two policy questions: whether providing subsidies to families whose incomes are just over the state’s eligibility limit affects their child care and employment outcomes, and whether extending the length of time before families must reapply for subsidies affects the receipt of subsidies and related outcomes.
This final report of a two-year evaluation is intended to help states determine how to structure child care subsidy programs. Focusing on how much families should be required to contribute when they receive child care subsidies, the study examined the effects of reduced copayments on subsidy use, employment and earnings, and receipt of public assistance.
Background, Program Models, and Evaluation Evidence
Transitional jobs programs provide temporary, wage-paying jobs and other services to help individuals who have difficulty succeeding in the regular labor market. In the context of a new federal initiative to support and study these programs, this paper describes what is known about transitional jobs and offers ideas for program design and research.