Founded in 1974, MDRC is committed to improving the lives of people with low incomes. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs, and provide technical assistance to build better programs.
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This interactive guide and the accompanying, full toolkit are designed for school-based and community-based programs interested in implementing evidence-based early childhood curricula. The guide provides practical guidelines and tools for four stages of implementation:
Preparing the system
Hiring and training coaches
Getting teachers ready to implement the curriculum as intended
Providing ongoing monitoring
The resources in this guide are derived from the technical assistance MDRC has provided to coaches and programs in several large-scale studies that have evaluated early childhood supplemental curricula and found positive effects on children’s outcomes. They included Foundations of Learning, a replication study of a classroom behavior-management curriculum; Head Start CARES, a study of three social-emotional curricula; and Making Pre-K Count, which examined the short- and long-term effects of a math curriculum. Programs interested in using these resources can pull out individual tools or guides that meet their specific needs.
When choosing an evidence-based curriculum for your program, try to find something that fits your program’s needs. Consider all aspects of the program including children and family needs, teacher needs, and larger program needs.
Use these sample questions and table to summarize what your program needs and how a new curriculum can address those needs.
Making the most of leaders’ support
The public commitment of program leaders can help get staff members ready to implement the new curriculum. Leaders need to send positive messages to the staff, provide day-to-day support for implementation, and build their own knowledge.
Use this template to make a plan for how you will monitor your data. You can adapt the template to your own program needs to help you determine who will be responsible for the process and to ensure that the team agrees on goals and procedures.