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Closing the Achievement Gap:Promising Returns from Educare FPG Child Development Institute – UNC Chapel Hill Educare Implementation Study Team Karen Taylor, Casey Marshall, Stephanie McConvilleNational Smart Start Conference May 2011
What is Educare? • Research-based strategies for children ages birth to 5 • Full-day, full-year program • High teacher/child ratios • On-site parent engagement • Blended Head Start, state and local education funds, Title I, child care, and private funding
Educare: A Brief History • Opened in 2000 on Chicago’s south side • Based on research & best practices for what at-risk young children need to succeed in school • Built upon available early childhood funding in Illinois • Built upon experience of doing Head Start, pre-k and state policy
Educare • Formation of Educare and the Bounce Learning Network • Public/Private partnerships • Future growth of the Network
Educare Interior views of Tulsa Educare I
12 Core Features of the Educare Model • Use data collection and analysis to drive quality and ensure student success • Maintain Small Class Size & High Staff/Child Ratios • 3:8 for 0-3 • 3:17 for 3-5 • Maintain High Staff Qualifications & Intensive Staff Development • Provide Continuity of Care to help children develop secure relationships • On-site Family Support & Strong Parent Engagement • Implement Reflective Practice & Supervision • Interdisciplinary Work • Language & Literacy • Social-Emotional Development • Numeracy & Problem-Solving • Integrating the Arts • Start Early: Emphasize Prenatal Services
…And How is it Unique? • BA level lead teachers • Three teachers for every eight children in birth-3 classrooms (3:8) and three teachers for every 17 children in preschool classes (3:17) • Rigor of implementation • Continuity of care • Data driven • Masters degreed teacher-coaches/family support • Public – Private partnership, transparent data outcome sharing and funder responsibility
Who are the children in Educare? • Gender • 51% Boys • 49% Girls • Race/Ethnicity • 29% Hispanic (any race) • 56% Black • 7% White • 8% Biracial or Other
What is their family background? • Primary Caregiver Education • 19% < HS • 14%HS plus Technical Training • 20% HS/GED • 10% AA • 24% Some College • 7% BA
What is the Educare Implementation Study Co-Principal Investigators Noreen Yazejian, Ph.D. and Donna Bryant, Ph.D. FPG Child Development Institute University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Educare Implementation Study • Internal purposes: program improvement, tailored help from TA team, site-specific analyses • External purposes: documenting the core features; showcasing early childhood programs of quality; contribute to the literature on effective early interventions • All sites participate & hire a local evaluator • FPG coordinates data collection, trains data collectors to reliability, manages data, and runs analyses
Who Are We? • Local evaluators at twelve sites (in 2010-11) with a central evaluation coordination site at FPG • National advisory board for the Implementation Study • Local program leaders and funders • The Bounce Learning Network at the Ounce of Prevention Fund provides training, implementation assistance and communities of practice.
Main Activities of the Local Evaluation Teams • Local evaluator – assess children, observe classrooms, handle data, provide detailed and summary feedback to Master Teachers and Family Support (FS) Supervisors • Master teachers and FS supervisors- meet with evaluator to understand the measures and results; in turn, share the results with teaching staff and have weekly reflective coaching meetings with their supervisees
What Makes this Process Work? • Staff know the measures being used • Integrity of the data collection • Rapid turnaround of data • Trust among staff that data are used for improvement, not punitively • Everyone in the system values data
Measuring the Core Features • Some core features are easier than others to be measured by the Implementation Study -like small class size, high staff/child ratios, high staff qualifications, continuity of care, and the effects of starting care at an early age • Measuring other features, like using data for continuous improvement, using reflective supervision, doing interdisciplinary work, is much harder
Educare CLASS Data N=48 2009-10 %
Continuity of Care Goal - Same teaching staff birth to age 3 and in both Head Start years Infants-ToddlersMean across sites: 86% of children have same lead teacher; range = 67% - 100% PreschoolersMean across sites: 89% of children have same lead teacher; range = 62% - 98%
About how Many More Years do you Plan to Work at Educare? (%) 2009-2010 %
Poverty, Risks, and Long-Term Achievement Research shows that 1st grade reading ability is a strong predictor of 11th grade reading, vocabulary and general knowledge. Low-income children typically enter kindergarten with vocabulary levels and pre-literacy skills well below those of their middle-class peers. This achievement gap is extremely difficult to close in elementary and high school. But, if at-risk children can enter kindergarten with a vocabulary close to the average non-poor American child, their chances of becoming good readers, graduating high school and staying on a successful life trajectory will have been improved.
Poverty as a Risk Factor • Risks not due to income alone • Low parental education, single parent status, unemployment • Less stimulating home environment, parent stress and depression, characteristics of parenting (Duncan et al., 1997; NICHD ECCRN, 2001) • Quality of child care is another potential risk • Generally poor quality, especially for infants and toddlers.
Risk Factors and Outcomes in Educare • We used the following risk factors in our analyses: • Teen mother • Single parent household • Child health • Maternal depression • Maternal education • Food insecurity • 7 or more major life events, and • Whether the child was receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (2004) • Poverty was not included and is an added risk for all children/families. • Risk scores averaged about 2, with a standard deviation of about 1.2.
Data Collection • Bayley • At age 2 • PPVT-IV and Woodcock Munoz • Once at 36 months of age and • At entry into the Head Start program and each Spring thereafter • PALS • Fall and Spring in the year before kindergarten • Bracken— • Spring before entering kindergarten • DECA • Birth to 5 • Fall and Spring of each year
Risk and Outcomes • For children whose primary language is English, the risk index was a significant negative predictor of: • Bayley Language scores • Bracken School Readiness scores • DECA Protective Factors and Behavioral Concerns • PALS Composite scores • For children whose primary language is Spanish, the risk index was a significant negative predictor of: • Woodcock-Muñoz language scores
Bayley Scores of English Speakers by Risk Levels % Number of Risks Each additional risk translated to around a 2.5-point reduction in Bayley cognitive and a 2.7-point reduction in Bayley language scores
PALS Scores of English Speakers by Risk Levels Number of Risks Each additional risk translated to around a 1.8-point reduction in PALS scores
PPVT Estimated Means Number of Risks Each additional risk translated to around a 2-point reduction in PPVT-IV scores
DECA Estimated Means Number of Risks Each additional risk translated to around a 1.5-point reduction in DECA Protective Factor Scores
Bracken Estimated Means Number of Risks Each additional risk translated to around a 3-point reduction in Bracken scores.
The Potential of High-Quality Child Care • Potential for positive and lasting effects. • Evidence for buffering negative effects of poverty. • Some evidence for positive effects when programs start early from both • Experimental studies (e.g., Abecedarian Project)
How can Educare Mitigate the Effects of Risk Factors for Children? • Results suggest that Educare may be making the most difference for children who begin attending the program in their first year of life. • Starting Early is one of the 12 core features of Educare.
Summary of Age of Entry Effects • Age of entry matters—the earlier children enter, the higher their scores on measures of: • Cognitive and language abilities (Bayley) at age 2 • Vocabulary (PPVT) at age 3 (English speakers and DLL) • Vocabulary (PPVT) the spring before K (Eng & DLL) • School readiness (Bracken) the spring before K (Eng & DLL) • Emergent literacy (PALS) the spring before K (Eng & DLL)
Bayley Language Scores by Age of Entry into Educare, All Sites, Adjusted 2007-10
Bayley Cognitive Scores by Age of Entry into Educare, All Sites, Adjusted 2007-10
Vocabulary Scores (PPVT-4) of Three Year Old Children by Age of Entry into Educare, All Sites, Adjusted, 2007-10
Vocabulary Scores (PPVT-4) of Kindergarten-Bound Children by Age of Entry into Educare Adjusted 2007-10
School Readiness Scores (English Bracken) of Kindergarten-Bound Children by Age of Entry into Educare All Sites, Adjusted 2007-10
Language Scores from Ages 2 to 5 by Age of Entry and Home Language, All Sites, 2007-10 Data Home Language: n=1144 English, 501 Dual Language
Thank You for attending our presentation For more information about Educare visit the Educare website: http://www.educareschools.org/ For more information about the Educare Implementation Study visit the FPG website: http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~bounce/