- National Scientific Council on the Developing Child
- National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs
- Global Children's Initiative
- Frontiers of Innovation
- Science of Health and Development Initiative
- Students, Education and Leadership Development
Under the auspices of the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs, a multi-university team is creating a meta-analytic database that synthesizes four decades of program evaluation research relevant to children from the prenatal period to age five.
This endeavor to collect, code, and input data will provide the capacity to conduct authoritative meta-analyses on a broad range of compelling policy, practice, and developmental issues. Meta-analyses can have powerful and sustained policy influence, and they have been described as producing the strongest and most rigorous evidence on which to base policy decisions. This database is unique in that it will also incorporate forms of intervention not typically included in early childhood evaluation reviews, such as health interventions and employment policies.
Previous meta-analyses have found that early childhood interventions can be beneficial for children and families (Aos et al., 2004; Karoly, Kilburn, & Cannon, 2005) and that some programs, such as those aimed at low-income three- and four-year olds, provide desirable returns on investments (Aos et al., 2004). However, many critical questions remain unanswered, including the relative efficacy of adding family-support components to early childhood education programs as well as the relative role of curricula, teacher qualifications, group sizes, and student-teacher ratios in influencing the magnitude of effects.
One benefit of a meta-analytic approach is the ability to draw objective, statistically-based conclusions about the effectiveness of early childhood interventions. The Forum plans to combine rigorous analyses of these empirical data with state-of-the-art conceptual knowledge about human development in the service of reaching highly credible conclusions about what does and what does not work, and for whom. This synthesis of program implementation and evaluation will also be critical in informing new interventions and policies for the future.
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Jenya Kholoptseva (Project Director)
Jocelyn Bowne (Research Assistant)
Todd Grindal (Research Assistant)
Dana Charles McCoy (Research Assistant)
Soojin Susan Oh (Research Assistant)
Beth Schueler (Research Assistant)
University of California, Irvine
Greg J. Duncan, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Alejandra Albarran (Research Assistant)
Nicholas Graham (Research Assistant)
David Lee (Research Assistant)
Weilin Li (Research Assistant)
Marcela Martinez (Research Assistant)
University of Washington
Holly S. Schindler (Principal Investigator)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Albert Burgess-Hull (Research Assistant)
Robert Kelchen (Research Assistant)
Hilary Shager (Research Assistant)
Research Conference Presentations
Papers from the meta-analytic database have been presented at the Society for Research in Child Development, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, and Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness.
Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting
March 31 - April 2, 2011; Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Three conference papers using data from the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs' meta-analytic database have been accepted for presentation at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting to be held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, March 31-April 2, 2011.
- "Preventing Aggression and Antisocial Behaviors through Preschool Interventions"
Holly S. Schindler, Jenya Kholoptseva, Soojin S. Oh, Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Jack P. Shonkoff, Greg J. Duncan
- "Timing Issues with Early Childhood Education Programs: Variation in Effect Sizes
Greg J. Duncan , Jimmy Leak, Weilin Li , Holly S. Schindler
- "What is the Added Impact on Children of Parent-Targeted Services in Early Childhood Education Programs? A Meta-Analytic Study
Hirokazu Yoshikawa , Jocelyn Bonnes Bowne , Todd A. Grindal , Holly S. Schindler , Katherine Magnuson
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference
November 4 - 6, 2010; Boston, Mass.
These two conference papers were presented at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management conference, held in Boston on November 4 - 6, 2010.
- "Is More Necessarily Better? The Added Impact of Parent-Targeted Services in Early Education Programs" was led by Hirokazu Yoshikawa and presented by Jocelyn Bowne.
- "Timing Issues with Early Childhood Education Programs: How Effect Sizes Vary by Starting Age, Program Duration, and Persistence of Effects" was led by Forum Co-Chair Greg J. Duncan and presented by Jimmy Leak.
Society for Research on Education Effectiveness Conference
March 4, 2010; Washington, D.C.
"Using Meta-Analysis to Explain Variation in Head Start Research Results: The Role of Research Design" was the first conference paper to be presented using data from the Forum's meta-analytic database. It was presented at the 2010 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness conference on March 4, 2010, in Washington, D.C. This methodological paper was led by Hilary Shager, a doctoral student on the meta-analytic research team, and also authored by Holly S. Schindler, Cassandra M.D. Hart, Greg Duncan, Katherine A. Magnuson, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa.
Papers Under Review
- Timing in early childhood education: How program impacts on cognition and achievement vary by starting age, program duration, and time since the end of the program
- Do the effects of early childhood education programs differ by gender? A meta-analysis
- Can research design explain variation in Head Start research results? A meta-analysis of cognitive and achievement outcomes
About the Forum
The Forum was established in 2006. In the same way the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child seeks to explain why public investments should be made in the early childhood years, the Forum tries to describe what investments should be made—and how.
The Forum comprises an interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars from universities across the United States who have expertise in research and program evaluation.
The Forum’s publications discuss what program evaluation research can say about critical issues in child development and what the implications are for policy and practice. More >>
Major support for the Forum has been provided by: the Birth to Five Policy Alliance, the Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Casey Family Programs, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the McCormick Tribune Foundation, the Norlien Foundation, and an Anonymous Donor.