The Chicago Program Evaluation Project: A Picture of Early Childhood Programs, Teachers, and Preschool-Age Children in Chicago

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Dec 30, 2008
Christine Ross, Emily Moiduddin, Cassandra Meagher, and Barbara Carlson
This project describes 4-year-old children attending Chicago’s early childhood education programs in fall 2006, characteristics of teachers and educational environments in the classrooms, and developmental progress children made during the 2006-2007 preschool year. The study includes full-day child care programs in community-based centers funded by a blend of Head Start and state child care subsidies, half-day Head Start programs in centers and schools, and state Preschool for All programs. The project was designed to inform program improvements and policy, and to provide a baseline for future research. The report notes that the programs serve a diverse population with a high concentration of educationally at-risk children. Teachers meet or exceed the programs’ educational requirements, which are at the high end of such requirements nationally. Classrooms quality ratings were similar to those reported in studies of early childhood education classrooms nationally—in the middle to high range on emotional support and provisions for learning, but in the low to middle range on classroom organization and instructional support. During the preschool year, children made progress relative to 4-year-old children nationally on measures of language development, early literacy, and early mathematics achievement.