Strong local early childhood systems are key to ensuring the healthy development of young children. Over the last decade, Virginia communities have leveraged public and private sector efforts to make substantial progress in coordinating and strengthening local early childhood systems. The Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) partnered with researchers from SRI Education (SRI) to examine the progress and challenges of early childhood systems building in Virginia with a focus on communities that are part of VECF’s Smart Beginnings network. This document summarizes the findings from that examination and provides recommendations for how VECF, state government, and local leaders can more equitably and effectively serve children and families.
Virginia Early Childhood Foundation Local Early Childhood Systems Building Strategy Map and Indicators
This document describes the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation’s (VECF) strategy map. The strategy map is intended to serve as a guide for VECF as well as its public and private partner organizations in planning, executing, and tracking progress on their efforts to build equitable and durable early childhood (EC) systems across the Commonwealth of Virginia. The strategy map also communicates VECF’s organizational goals and strategies to build and strengthen local EC systems and the indicators it will use to assess and communicate its progress to policymakers and the public.
The Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus (VPI+) was designed to provide 4-year-old children from low-income families with access to high-quality prekindergarten programs. The Virginia Department of Education contracted with SRI International to evaluate the implementation and impacts of the VPI+ program. SRI researchers found that attending VPI+ had a positive impact on children’s academic and behavioral skills, with the largest impact on literacy skills. In the year between enrolling in VPI+ and beginning kindergarten, participating children developed more than 15 months of mathematics skills and more than 20 months of literacy skills within a 12-month time frame. To learn more about the implementation and impacts of the VPI+ program, please see the full report.
This study examines the prevalence of trauma experiences and traumatic stress in a diverse group of Asian American middle school students from a large urban school district. Descriptive statistics document the mean number of self-reported trauma experiences and posttraumatic stress subscale scores and how these rates differ by students’ gender and Asian ethnic subgroups (including Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Samoan, Southeast Asian, and Other). Furthermore, we assess the degree to which 1 or more traumatic events is associated with students’ self-reported symptoms of severe traumatic stress and the types of traumatic events that are the most powerful predictors of elevated stress. These in-depth findings underscore the need for routine, school-based screening to identify and bring culturally competent, trauma-informed support and interventions to Asian American middle school students experiencing traumatic stress. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)
Funded by an i3 validation grant from the U.S. Department of Education, SRI conducted an independent evaluation of the Midwest Expansion of the Child-Parent Center (CPC) Program using a quasi-experimental design. Findings include strong implementation of CPC model components but very few differences on children’s school readiness skills.
Funded by an Investing in Innovation (i3) validation grant from the U.S. Department of Education, SRI conducted an independent evaluation of the Midwest Expansion of the Child-Parent Center (CPC) Program using a quasi-experimental design. The University of Minnesota, collaborating with four school districts, implemented a revised version of the CPC program. SRI’s evaluation documented implementation of the six program components across the schools in four districts. Overall, the findings demonstrate that most CPC schools implemented the CPC model with good fidelity in the first 2 years. When researchers compared kindergarten outcomes of students in CPC schools to students in comparison schools, they found a consistent positive outcome of the CPC program model on students’ early literacy as measured by standardized assessments. No other significant effects were found at kindergarten entry. Unfortunately, the evaluation team was not able to assess the model’s impact on longer term outcomes of students in second and third grade.
This report presents findings from a descriptive study that examined the development and early implementation of Kindergarten Entry Assessments (KEAs) in 12 districts across four Race To the Top-Early Learning Challenge grantee states (Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington) in the 2014-15 school year. The study consisted of document reviews, telephone interviews with state agency respondents and local preschool directors, and in-person interviews with district administrators, principals, kindergarten teachers, and other KEA assessors.