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ERIC Number: ED517544
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jun
Pages: 68
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies: Implementation of Three Language and Literacy Interventions in Project Upgrade. OPRE 2011-4
Layzer, Carolyn J.; Layzer, Jean I.; Wolf, Anne
Administration for Children & Families
This report describes the design and implementation of the three interventions tested in Project Upgrade, one of four experiments conducted as part of the Evaluation of Child Care Subsidy Strategies. The evaluation was a multi-site, multi-year effort to determine whether and how different child care subsidy policies and procedures and quality improvement efforts help low-income parents obtain and hold onto jobs and improve outcomes for children. Study staff worked with states and communities across the country to identify significant issues and develop hypotheses about the use of child care subsidy funds that could be rigorously tested in a series of experiments. A guiding principle of the study was that state (or community) interests and preferences should play a large role in the choice of research topics and strategies. Findings of this study include: (1) The initial observations, conducted before the interventions, showed that, across all groups, teachers engaged in few of the behaviors and interactions that have been shown to support children's development of language and literacy skills; (2) Within six months of training, in Spring 2004, all three language/literacy interventions produced significant impacts on teacher behaviors and interactions with children that supported their language and literacy development; by Spring 2005, these impacts were generally more pronounced, and there were significant impacts on the number of classroom activities that involved literacy, and on literacy resources in the classroom; (3) The interventions had significant positive impacts on teacher behavior. These impacts were generally stronger for teachers whose primary language was Spanish than for their English-speaking counterparts; (4) Two of the three interventions, "Ready, Set, Leap" and "Breakthrough to Literacy", had significant impacts on all four measures of emergent literacy outcomes for children: definitional vocabulary; phonological awareness; knowledge and understanding of print and an overall index of early literacy. The impact of the two effective interventions was much greater for children in classrooms with Spanish-speaking teachers than for children in classrooms with English-speaking teachers; (5) The two interventions that had impacts on child outcomes brought children close to or above the national norms on three of the four outcomes. On the fourth, definitional vocabulary, although children in the two treatment groups had significantly higher scores, they still lagged considerably behind the national norms. The impacts represent between four and nine months of developmental growth, depending on the outcome; (6) The interventions resulted in a substantial increase in the time spent on language and literacy activities, both teacher-directed and child-initiated. This did not eliminate other important developmental activities. Rather, time spent on each of the other activities was reduced slightly; and (7) There was a small but significant relationship between teachers' educational attainment and some aspects of their behavior with children before the interventions. The training and on-going mentoring provided as an integral part of the interventions eliminated this relationship. That is, as a result of the training and mentoring, less-educated teachers looked remarkably similar to their better-educated counterparts in the extent to which they provided activities that supported literacy. Teachers' educational qualifications did not modify the impacts of the interventions on child outcomes. Appendices include: (1) Creation of Implementation Indexes; and (2) Observation Measures for Language and Literacy Instruction (OMLIT). (Contains 4 tables, 7 exhibits and 26 footnotes.)
Administration for Children & Families. US Department of Health and Human Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade SW, Washington, DC 20447. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Administration for Children and Families (DHHS), Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation; Abt Associates, Inc.
Identifiers - Location: Florida