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ERIC Number: ED500600
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 146
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Getting Ready for School: Palm Beach County's Early Childhood Cluster Initiative
Spielberger, Julie; Baker, Stephen; Winje, Carolyn
Chapin Hall Center for Children
This publication reports findings from the second year of an implementation study of the Early Childhood Cluster Initiative (ECCI). ECCI is a prekindergarten program in ten elementary schools and a community child care center in Palm Beach County, based on the design of the High/Scope Perry Preschool model. The initiative is characterized by low teacher-child ratios, the use of certified teachers, the availability of ongoing staff training, and an intensive program of activities to strengthen parent involvement. Interviews and surveys with participants and program assessments indicated continued support for the initiative's goals and activities and progress in implementing the High/Scope curriculum, although both program quality and support for the curriculum varied across sites and participants. Goals for the second year of the evaluation were four-fold: (1) to carry out a fuller study of implementation; (2) to review available administrative data on the children participating in ECCI; (3) to continue work with local stakeholders to examine the initiative's goals, activities, expected outcomes, and theory of change; and (4) to determine the feasibility of an outcome evaluation. By the end of its second year, the program had sharpened its focus and limited its ambitions. ECCI was modified from its initial design as a "cluster" of providers offering child care and education to preschool children, concentrating instead on a smaller number of school-based sites. Camps held during breaks in the school schedule were eliminated, as was the position of ECCI program manager. At the same time, attention to the effects of the program increased in the second year, and the program experienced more calls for accountability and an assessment of its effects from within and without. It is projected that the third year of ECCI to be a period of refinement, with a continuing emphasis on improving the quality of work. Bibliography is included. Six appendixes include: (1) Overview of High/Scope Curriculum; (2) Additional PQA Results; (3) Spring 2007 Surveys; (4) Survey Sample Characteristics; (5) Interview and Focus Group Guides; and (6) Comparison of School Readiness Measures: ECHOS, DIBELS, and T-CRS. Contains 66 footnotes, 1 figure and 48 tables.) [Funding for this evaluation was provided by the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and the United Way of Palm Beach County. For the second-year executive summary, see ED500598. For first-year executive summary, see ED500595. For the full first-year report, see ED500596.]
Chapin Hall Center for Children. 1313 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 773-753-5900; Fax: 773-753-5940; Web site: http://www.chapinhall.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Chicago Univ., IL. Chapin Hall Center for Children.