Evaluation of the Illinois Early Childhood Block Grant Programs | SRI International

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Evaluation of the Illinois Early Childhood Block Grant Programs

SRI conducted a statewide evaluation of this program that provides home visiting, parenting education, and preschool programs to improve children's school readiness and other outcomes.

As the subcontractor to Erikson Institute, SRI collaboratively designed and conducted a statewide evaluation of the Illinois Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) program for the Illinois State Board of Education. The evaluation addressed questions about the children and families participating in the program and the quality and outcomes of the program.

The ECBG program includes a wide variety of early childhood programs for children from birth to 5 years old and their parents (home visiting, parenting education, preschool programs) that aim to improve children's school readiness and other outcomes, support at-risk families, and provide quality early childhood services. Erikson Institute and the SRI team worked closely with key stakeholders across the state of Illinois who comprised an advisory committee to review the evaluation plan and the resulting data. SRI had major responsibility for the evaluation of the 3-5 Preschool For All (PFA) program involving collection and analysis of data for a statewide sample of children, families, and preschool programs, including kindergarten entry assessments of over 600 children who attended PFA programs.

The results showed positive impacts of the PFA program on children's school readiness skills including for those across income and risk subgroups. The project had a variety of dissemination reports and brief fact sheets for the Illinois State Board of Education that were shared with the legislature and other key audiences: