ERIC Number: ED439788
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Feb-28
Reference Count: N/A
Early Childhood Programs: Characteristics Affect the Availability of School Readiness Information. Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Restructuring, and the District of Columbia, Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate.
Shaul, Marnie S.
At the request of members of Congress, the General Accounting Office: (1) developed a categorization of federal early childhood education and care programs for a better understanding of the federal involvement in achieving school readiness; and (2) determined what is known about the effectiveness of selected programs in contributing to school readiness. To respond to the first objective, agency officials and experts in the field were consulted, a variety of agency documents and studies were analyzed, and earlier reports from the GAO and the Congressional Research Service were reviewed. The second objective was addressed by reviewing four selected programs: Head Start, Title I, the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), and the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). Findings showed that federal early childhood education and care programs can be divided into three broad categories: (1) those that fund early childhood education and care settings, such as day care centers, in-home care, or school-sponsored prekindergarten programs; (2) those that fund support services to early childhood education and care settings, such as subsidizing meals served in day care centers; and (3) those that support child care for working families through provisions in the tax code. Programs in the first category could potentially have the greatest influence on children's readiness for school; within this category, however, programs vary in their emphasis on school readiness. The programs' primary goals or purposes and the level of support for preschool services help determine whether information is available on specific program outcomes such as school readiness. Programs that are not primarily focused on achieving school readiness (such as Title I, CCDF, and SSBG) do not collect data to measure that outcome. Consequently, even though the federal funding in support of early childhood education and care is substantial, there are currently limited data upon which to determine the effect of individual federal programs on school readiness. (EV)
Descriptors: Day Care, Day Care Effects, Early Childhood Education, Federal Aid, Federal Programs, Program Effectiveness, Public Policy, School Readiness
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 37050, Washington, DC 20013. (First copy, free, Additional copies, $2 each). Tel: 202-512-6000; Fax: 202-512-6061. For full text: http://www.gao.gov/newitems/he0038.pdf.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.