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Meta-Analytic Database


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 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.


Research Team Members

 

New York University
Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Kathleen M. Ziol-Guest, Ph.D. (Project Director)
Christine Campo (Research Assistant)
Allison Friedman-Krauss (Research Assistant)
Nia Gordon (Research Assistant)
Natalia Rojas (Research Assistant)
Mackenzie Whipps (Research Assistant)
Rui Yang (Research Assistant)


University of California, Irvine
Greg J. Duncan, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Weilin Li, Ph.D. (Research Assistant)
Nicholas Graham (Research Assistant)
Marcela Martinez (Research Assistant)


University of Washington

Holly S. Schindler, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Caroline Black (Research Assistant)


University of Wisconsin-Madison
Katherine Magnuson, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Albert Burgess-Hull (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. Highlights of these presentations are listed below.


Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness

March 6–8, 2014
Washington, D.C.

  • "Effective Early Childhood Education Programs: Meta-Analytic Lessons from High Quality Program Evaluations." Duncan, G.


National Symposium on Poverty and the Long-Term Effects of Early Life Experiences

May 31June 1, 2013
Davis, Calif.

  • "Do the Effects of Early Childhood Education Differ by Gender? A Meta-Analysis." Magnuson, K.

 

Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting

April 17–20, 2013
Seattle, Wash.

  • "A Meta-Analysis of the Association between Structural Characteristics of Early Childhood Education Programs and Child Outcomes." Bowne, J., Schindler, H., Magnuson, K., Yoshikawa, H., & Duncan, G.  
  • "Effects of Early Childhood Education Programs on Children’s Approaches to Learning: A Meta-Analysis." Kholoptseva, J., Yoshikawa, H., Schindler, H., Magnuson, K., & Duncan, G.


Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference

November 26, 2011
Washington, D.C.   

  • "Are Follow-Ups to Early Childhood Interventions Most Likely When Results Look Most Promising?" Duncan, G., Li, W., Leak, J., Magnuson, K., Schindler, H., & Yoshikawa, H.
  • "Do the Effects of Early Childhood Programs Differ by Gender? A Meta-Analysis." Kelchen, R., Magnuson, K., Duncan, G., Schindler, H., Shager, H., & Yoshikawa, H.
  • "Effects of Early Childhood Education Programs on Children’s Attention Skills." Kholoptseva, J., Yoshikawa, H., Schindler, H., Magnuson, K., & Duncan, G.
  • "Preventing Aggressive and Antisocial Behavior: What is the Role of Early Childhood Care and Education?" Schindler, H., Kholoptseva, J., Oh, S., Yoshikawa, H., Duncan, G., Magnuson, K., & Shonkoff, J.


Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting

March 31April 2, 2011
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • "Preventing Aggression and Antisocial Behaviors through Preschool Interventions." Schindler, H., Kholoptseva, J., Oh, S., Yoshikawa, H., Duncan, G., & Shonkoff, J.
  • "Timing Issues with Early Childhood Education Programs: Variation in Effect Sizes
." Duncan
, G., Leak, J., Li
, W., Schindler, H.
  • "What is the Added Impact on Children of Parent-Targeted Services in Early Childhood Education Programs? A Meta-Analytic Study
." Yoshikawa
, H., Bowne
, J., Grindal
, T., Schindler
, H., & Magnuson, K.


Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Conference

November 46, 2010
Boston, Mass.   

  • "Is More Necessarily Better? The Added Impact of Parent-Targeted Services in Early Education Programs" 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" 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
  • The added impact of parenting education in early childhood education programs: A meta-analysis

 


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.
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Forum Members

The Forum comprises an interdisciplinary group of distinguished scholars from universities across the United States who have expertise in research and program evaluation.
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Forum Publications

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 >>