Early Childhood Program Evaluations: A Decision-Maker’s Guide
What program services were actually received by participating children and families and comparison groups?
At the heart of an evaluation study is the comparison of two groups of children—those who are enrolled in the program and a similar comparison group of children who are not.
Sometimes, however, it is surprising to find out that the actual experiences of these two groups of children are very similar. This can occur either because the children enrolled in the program do not receive the services as intended or because many of the children in the comparison group seek out and receive similar services that are already available in the community. Good questions to ask when reviewing program outcomes include the following: