Research and data support our work
Our Empowering Families program in the Providence schools is now in its fourth year. The external evaluators, the Wellesley Centers for Women out of Wellesley College, submitted a report in January 2018 on the data the reseachers collected over the first three years of the program.
High-quality early childhood education changes the outcomes of disadvantaged children. Countless studies have demonstrated this, including several we conducted ourselves.
In our large federally-funded programs – Early Reading First and Early Childhood Educator Professional Development – we conducted several rigorous evaluations, including a full-scale randomized control trial. What we found was that children who participated in these programs outperformed their peers when they entered kindergarten. We also found that participating teachers adopted more effective teaching strategies and created classrooms that were richer and more conducive to learning. These behaviors lasted well after the intervention was over.
Children in our intensive Early Reading First programs made the most significant gains. Teachers in these programs received up to four college-level courses and three years of extensive on-site mentoring. An evaluation we conducted on children in our first two ERF programs showed that 58% of them met benchmark status when they entered kindergarten as measured by the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. Of the children who had never participated in a Ready to Learn program, only 29% met that status.
You can also download a handout in which we compared entering kindergartners who had participated in one or more Ready to Learn programs with children who hadn’t. DIBELS Analysis Short Version or DIBELS Analysis Long Version
See an overview and final analysis of our Early Childhood Educator Professional Development project, which ran from 2006 to 2010.
We have conducted a number of studies on issues affecting the well-being of children, families and the early-care community. In 2004, we released an exhaustive report titled How Ready Is Providence?, which examined important indicators for success in school. Several of those indicators were updated in 2009 and 2010, including a comprehensive report on Professional Development Opportunities in Rhode Island.