An Empirically-based Statewide System for Identifying Quality Pre-Kindergarten Programs

Jeffrey M. Williams, Susan H. Landry, Jason L. Anthony, Paul R. Swank, April D. Crawford

Abstract


This study presents an empirically-based statewide system that links information about pre-kindergarten programs with children’s school readiness scores to certify pre-kindergarten classrooms as promoting school readiness. Over 8,000 children from 1,255 pre-kindergarten classrooms were followed longitudinally for one year. Pre-kindergarten quality indicators of intentional instruction, an early literacy focus, and professional development were key predictors of kindergarten outcomes. A latent profile analysis identified pre-kindergarten classrooms that were high on pre-kindergarten quality indicators and high on kindergarten outcomes (67.3%), low on pre-kindergarten quality and kindergarten outcomes (21.3%), or low on quality but high on outcomes (11.4%). The last group of classrooms was likely to serve middle-class children and not use the state program model. This project demonstrates how a scientific approach can inform stakeholders and parents about the effectiveness of early childhood programs.

Keywords


Preschool; Kindergarten; Emergent literacy; Social development; School readiness; Quality rating system; State policy;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v20n17.2012

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Contact EPAA//AAPE at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College