High-quality early childhood education programs give students an equitable start, research says
A new brief highlights 10 important elements of high-quality early childhood education programs, pulled from a body of research, which can help young students have an equitable start with a strong educational foundation.
The brief was compiled in part to help states as they redesign early childhood education programs and strive to offer those children access to high-quality learning experiences.
The Building Blocks of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs draws on a substantial body of research and comes from the Learning Policy Institute. It identifies 10 important elements, or building blocks, of high-quality early childhood education programs as indicated by research and professional standards.
Co-authored by Marjorie Wechsler, Hanna Melnick, Anna Maier, and Joseph Bishop, the Building Blocks brief was released at “Improving Quality in California’s Early Childhood Education: New Research and Implications for Policy,” a policy convening co-hosted by Early Edge California and Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).
The 10 building blocks include:
• Comprehensive early learning standards and curricula that address the whole child, are developmentally appropriate, and are effectively implemented.
• Assessments of the whole child, which consider academic, social-emotional, and physical progress and contribute to instructional and program planning.
• Well-prepared teachers who provide engaging interactions and classroom environments that support learning.
• Ongoing support for teachers throughout their career, including coaching and mentoring.
• Support for diverse learners, including English learners and students with special needs.
• Meaningful family engagement.
• Sufficient learning time, including more daily instructional time and more than one year of programming.
• Appropriate class size with low student-teacher ratios.
• Comprehensive program assessments that measure structural quality and classroom interactions.
• A well-implemented state quality rating and improvement system.
Download the Building Blocks research brief and the PowerPoint presentation here.
Material from a press release was used in this report.