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Preschool programs with family support services

Health Factors: Education
Decision Makers: Educators State Government Federal Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Scientifically Supported
Population Reach: 1-9% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Preschool programs with family support services are center-based programs that support the cognitive and social development of low income children prior to kindergarten. These intensive programs usually include a combination of high quality preschool, parental education, and additional services such as home visiting, health, and family services. Examples of such programs include: Chicago Child-Parent Centers, HighScope Perry Preschool, and the Carolina Abecedarian Project.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased academic achievement
Improved cognitive skills
Reduced delinquent behavior
Reduced arrests
Reduced obesity
Improved mental health
Increased healthy behaviors

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is strong evidence that preschool programs with family support services increase academic achievement among children from low income households (Manning 2010, CG-TFR Education). Effects are strongest immediately following preschool, but can persist (Burger 2010, CG-TFR Education), especially if combined with continued support in later school years (Brookings-Sawhill 2015). Additional research is needed to determine which program components (e.g., social services, health care services, parental involvement, meals served, etc.) have the greatest effect on children’s outcomes (Mathematica-Caronongan 2016, CG-TFR Education).

Participants in preschool programs with family support services have greater gains in cognitive skills and academic achievement than non-participants (Manning 2010, CG-TFR Education). Program participation may also increase family well-being and social-emotional development, and reduce social deviance, teenage delinquent behavior (e.g., drug use, law breaking, gang involvement), and juvenile arrest rates (Manning 2010). Preschool programs with family support services also appear to reduce obesity, and improve children’s mental health and social competence (D'Onise 2010a). Programs support healthy behaviors as children age, but have no impact on chronic disease outcomes (D'Onise 2010, Englund 2015).

Chicago Child-Parent Centers (CPC) and the HighScope Perry (HSP) program are two examples of preschool programs with family support services that have been shown to improve academic achievement (Reynolds 2016, Ou 2010, Reynolds 2011, PPN, CG-TFR Education). Cost-benefit analyses of these programs indicate substantial societal returns for the funds invested (Heckman 2010aReynolds 2011a).

Implementation

United States

Head Start, a federal program for children under 5 from low income families, provides preschool education and school readiness programming, as well as social, health, and other services. In 2015, the Office of Head Start distributed over $7.7 billion in grant funding to 1,700 local public and private agencies that offer Head Start services to their communities (Head Start, OHS-Head Start).  

Educare schools are another example of preschool programs with family support services. Established in over 20 communities across the country, in urban, suburban, and rural areas, Educare schools provide early childhood education and family support services for children under 5 from low income families. Schools also help connect families with additional resources, such as health and mental health services, provided by community organizations (Educare).

Wisconsin

The Office of Head Start identifies 338 locations for Head Start programs across Wisconsin (OHS-Head Start locator). Educare Milwaukee opened in 2005 and serves 166 children under 5 and their families (Educare-Milwaukee).

Implementation Resources

Educare - Educare. The Educare model: Our approach and our schools. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Head Start - Head Start. An office of the Administration for Children and Families. Early childhood learning & knowledge center (ECLKC). Accessed on September 1, 2016
HighScope - HighScope. Inspiring educators to inspire children. Accessed on September 1, 2016
UW CPC - Waisman Center. Chicago Longitudinal Study: Child Parent Center (CPC). Accessed on September 1, 2016

Citations - Evidence

Brookings-Sawhill 2015 - Sawhill IV, Karpilow Q. How much could we improve children’s life chances by intervening early and often? Washington, DC: Center on Children and Families, Brookings Institution; 2015. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Burger 2010* - Burger K. How does early childhood care and education affect cognitive development? An international review of the effects of early interventions for children from different social backgrounds. Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 2010;25(2):140-65. Accessed on September 15, 2016
CG-TFR Education - The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Task Force Recommends (TFR) Education Programs to Promote Health Equity. Accessed on December 19, 2016
D'Onise 2010* - D’Onise K, McDermott RA, Lynch JW. Does attendance at preschool affect adult health? A systematic review. Public Health. 2010;124(9):500–511. Accessed on September 14, 2016
D'Onise 2010a* - D’Onise K, Lynch JW, Sawyer MG, McDermott RA. Can preschool improve child health outcomes? A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine. 2010;70(9):1423–1440. Accessed on September 14, 2016
Englund 2015* - Englund MM, White B, Reynolds AJ, Schweinhart LJ, Campbell FA. Health outcomes of the Abecedarian, Child–Parent Center, and HighScope Perry Preschool programs. In Reynolds AJ, Rolnick AJ, Temple JA, eds. Health and Education in Early Childhood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2015:257-292. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Heckman 2010a* - Heckman JJ, Moon SH, Pinto R, Savelyev PA, Yavitz A. The rate of return to the HighScope Perry preschool program. Journal of Public Economics. 2010;94(1-2):114-28. Accessed on September 1, 2016
Manning 2010* - Manning M, Homel R, Smith C. A meta-analysis of the effects of early developmental prevention programs in at-risk populations on non-health outcomes in adolescence. Children and Youth Services Review. 2010;32(4):506-19. Accessed on September 1, 2016
Mathematica-Caronongan 2016 - Caronongan P, Kirby G, Boller K, Modlin E, Lyskawa J. Assessing the implementation and cost of high quality early care and education: A review of the literature - OPRE Report 2016-31. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; 2016. Accessed on March 2, 2017
Ou 2010* - Ou SR, Reynolds AJ. Mechanisms of effects of an early intervention program on educational attainment: A gender subgroup analysis. Children and Youth Services Review. 2010;32(8):1064-76. Accessed on September 15, 2016
PPN - Promising Practices Network (PPN). On children, families and communities. Accessed on December 7, 2016
Reynolds 2011* - Reynolds AJ, Temple JA, Ou SR, Arteaga IA, White BAB. School-based early childhood education and age-28 well-being: Effects by timing, dosage, and subgroups. Science. 2011;333(6040):360-4. Accessed on September 1, 2016
Reynolds 2011a - Reynolds AJ, Temple JA, White BAB, Ou SR, Robertson DL. Age 26 cost-benefit analysis of the child-parent center early education program. Child Development. 2011;82(1):379-404. Accessed on September 1, 2016
Reynolds 2016* - Reynolds AJ, Richardson BA, Hayakawa M, Englund MM, Ou SR. Multi-site expansion of an early childhood intervention and school readiness. Pediatrics. 2016;138(1):e20154587. Accessed on September 15, 2016

Citations - Implementation

Educare - Educare. The Educare model: Our approach and our schools. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Educare-Milwaukee - Educare. Educare Milwaukee. Accessed on September 15, 2016
Head Start - Head Start. An office of the Administration for Children and Families. Early childhood learning & knowledge center (ECLKC). Accessed on September 1, 2016
OHS-Head Start - Office of Head Start (OHS). Head Start: What we do. Accessed on September 15, 2016
OHS-Head Start locator - Office of Head Start (OHS). Head Start locator. Accessed on September 15, 2016

Page Last Updated

September 15, 2016

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