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Independent Evaluation of the Social Impact Bond-funded Child-Parent Center Expansion Project
SRI’s evaluation will track kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, and special education placement over six years.
SRI is independently evaluating a social impact bond that is funding an expansion of the Child-Parent Center (CPC) model in Chicago. During the 2014–15 school year, a team of investors (Goldman Sachs Social Impact Fund, The Northern Trust, and The JB and MK Pritzker Family Foundation) began providing funding for preschool slots in Chicago Public Schools. The CPC expansion project anticipates serving four cohorts of children across eight sites in Chicago, with between 2,400 and 2,800 children receiving a high-quality preschool experience. SRI’s evaluation will track the children’s kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, and special education placement over six years, with the first cohort reaching fourth grade in the final year of the evaluation.
Social impact bonds are emerging as an innovative way for local entities to leverage private investments in support of social programs that yield a high return on investment. Early childhood education, specifically the Child-Parent Center model, is viewed as a great investment, with numerous studies providing evidence of both short- and long-term benefits to the child and cost savings to society. The social impact bond lenders will be repaid their investment according to cost reductions experienced when the children are ready for school and reaching achievement norms, as well as the savings from a proportion of children not requiring special education placement.