Performance Improvement 2010. Promote Early Education


Abt Associates, Inc., conducted Project Upgrade, a two-year experimental test of the effectiveness of three different language and literacy interventions, implemented in child care centers in Miami-Dade County that served children from low-income families.  Prior to the interventions, initial observations showed that teachers engaged in few of the behaviors and interactions that have been shown to support children's development of language and literacy skills.  Within six months of training, all three language/literacy interventions produced significant affects on teacher behaviors and interactions with children that supported their language and literacy development.  These affects were generally more pronounced a year later, and positive affects on teacher behavior were also significant.  The interventions resulted in a substantial increase in the time spent on language and literacy activities, teacher-directed and child-initiated. (9171)

Characteristics of children and families entering Head Start in fall 2006 were described as part of the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES), a longitudinal descriptive study of program performance at the national level.  In fall 2006, 458,000 children were newly enrolled in 14,400 Head Start centers across the U.S.  Half were attending full-day Head Start programs.  The percentage of Head Start children who are 3 years old when they first enter the program increased from 46 to 63 percent between 2003 and 2006.  In addition, the percent of first-time Head Start children who were white decreased from 30 to 24 percent, the percent who were Hispanic increased from 31 to 34 percent and the percent who were African American increased from 39 to 42 percent. (9169

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