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The effects of early care and education settings on the kindergarten outcomes of doubly vulnerable children

Program administrators and policy makers have placed a priority on expanding access to inclusive, center-based early care and education (ECE) for low-income children with special needs, a "doubly vulnerable" population characterized by academic and social-emotional achievement gaps at kindergarten entry. Yet, no research has documented the effects of center-based settings on doubly vulnerable children's early development, either relative to other ECE settings (e.g., home-based care) or relative to each other (e.g., Head Start, public preK). The current study utilizes national data and estimates difference-in-differences models to assess the effects of these ECE setting comparisons on changes in doubly vulnerable children's academic and social-emotional outcomes evident at kindergarten entry. Results suggest that center-based ECE is more beneficial than parental care for language and literacy, and more beneficial than home-based care for prosocial behaviors. There were few differences among center-based ECE types: At trend level, Head Start was linked with better approaches to learning and prosocial skills relative to public preK. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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