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Select a category below to narrow the list of publications about early childhood education. For the definition of each category, click here. If you are looking for a specific document, topic, or author, visit our Publications & Resources section to conduct an advanced search.
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Because early social performance and academic achievement are predictors of later school success, ensuring that children get off to a good start in kindergarten is critical. This brief, by Harvard Family Research Project's Christine Patton and Justina Wang, examines important elements of high-quality kindergarten transition strategies and profiles promising practices from six states that take an integrated and collaborative approach to helping kindergartners enter school ready for success.
Christine Patton , Justina Wang (September 20, 2012) Research Report
In this Commentary, Harvard Family Research Project’s Senior Research Analyst, Heidi Rosenberg, looks at the ways in which schools, programs, and other community institutions can help facilitate continuous family engagement to help children succeed.
Heidi Rosenberg (September 20, 2012) Research Report
Former Head Start parent, Nikia Parker, started out as a “hard-to-reach” parent but developed a strong, positive relationship with her family’s Early Head Start home visitor, which enabled her to not only effectively support her own children, but also take on advocacy and leadership roles within the larger Head Start community.
Nikia Parker (September 20, 2012) Research Report
This framework is a vital tool for early childhood education and care providers seeking to build effective family engagement strategies. It was developed by the Office of Head Start with the assistance of the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement for the Office of Head Start
Office of Head Start (August 2011) Research Report
This annotated bibliography provides a selected listing of journal articles, research briefs, and reports that focus on early childhood transitions and school readiness. They cover a variety of topics central to the issue of early childhood transitions, including family engagement and home–school and program–school partnerships. Because the Head Start program is one of the most frequently studied early childhood initiatives, many of the resources focus on the transition from Head Start to preschool/kindergarten.
Harvard Family Research Project , Briana Chan (April 2011, updated September 2011) Bibliography
Harvard Family Research Project and the National PTA® have teamed up to bring you the third brief in our ground-breaking series about family engagement policy, highlighting the need for teacher education programs to prepare teachers to better work with families.
Margaret Caspe , M. Elena Lopez, Ashley Chu, & Heather B. Weiss (May 2011) Research Report
HFRP invited the Flamboyan Foundation—a private foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in Washington, DC and Puerto Rico—to share its classroom family engagement rubric with FINE. This rubric, and accompanying article, provides districts, school leaders, and teachers with a clear picture of what effective family engagement looks like in the classroom through concrete descriptions of how teachers demonstrate strong family engagement through their conversations and daily practice.
Lela Spielberg (March 2011) Research Report
This paper by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement, a new center formed by HFRP and Brazelton Center at Children's Hospital Boston and other partners for the Office of Head Start, focuses on child assessment data as a tool for parent and family engagement in the early childhood arena. It is the first in a series that will help early childhood care and education programs identify ways that they can share information in order to strengthen partnerships and work toward common goals.
National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement (March 2011) Research Report
Amy Horenbeck, training director from the Tools of the Mind program based at the Center for Improving Early Learning at the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Colorado, discusses a different approach to early childhood education and using children's work as a unique type of student data to track development and share children's progress with parents.
Amy Horenbeck (October 2010) Research Report
Even with technological advances that allow parents to track their child’s academic progress remotely, and more transparency in student data (such as test scores and attendance rates), face-to-face interaction between parents and teachers is still the cornerstone of school family engagement efforts. These newly revised tip sheets provide key strategies for both parents and teachers to walk into conferences informed and prepared, in order to ensure the most successful outcomes. A tip sheet aimed at school principals also outlines how school administrators can support parents and teachers to that end. Now available in Spanish, this tool is a powerful resource for families and educators alike.
Harvard Family Research Project (October 2010) Research Report
This brief offers lessons and best practices from foundations across the country on grantmaking to school districts. It offers advice to foundations that are considering school district investments for the first time. It also offers a useful "check" to more experienced foundations that want to examine their thinking and approaches against the lessons and practices of other foundations.
Julia Coffman , Heather Weiss, Erin Harris, Priscilla M.D. Little (September 2010) Research Report
Moria Cappio and Melanie Reyes from The Children’s Aid Society share their experiences reinventing family engagement strategies in their East Harlem Early Head Start/Head Start program to reach out to immigrant families by including parent civic advocacy. Cappio and Reyes also describe how using an advocacy evaluation tool helped them navigate these uncharted waters.
Moria Cappio , Melanie Reyes (May 2010) Research Report
Elena Lopez explores the benefits of creating strong partnerships between early childhood programs and families.
M. Elena Lopez (January 2010) Research Report
When families, schools, and out-of-school supports work together, children are more likely to succeed. Lisa St. Clair writes about how the Nebraska State Parental Information and Resource Center is using a complementary learning approach to link family support programs with schools, early childhood programs, and out-of-school time programs.
Lisa St. Clair (August 2009) Research Report
As evidence mounts that family involvement can support children's learning, there is an increasing call in the field for common data collection instruments to measure home–school communication and other aspects of family involvement. This resource from Harvard Family Research Project compiles instruments developed for rigorous program impact evaluations and tested for reliability.
Helen Westmoreland , Suzanne Bouffard, Kelley O'Carroll, Heidi Rosenberg (May 2009) Research Report
The need for home–-school collaboration begins even before a child’s the first day of school. Researcher Amy Schulting shares data from a recent evaluation study to describe how one home visiting project eases children's transition to kindergarten.
Amy Schulting (January 2009) Research Report
Amy Schulting from Duke University explores the role of teacher outreach to families during the transition to kindergarten.
Amy B. Schulting, M.Ed., M.A. (Spring 2008) Evaluation Exchange Article
Brenda Miller and Ginger Peacock Preston from the Jacksonville Children’s Commission describe how the city of Jacksonville, Florida, is integrating family involvement into a system of care for children and families.
Brenda Miller , Ginger Peacock Preston (Spring 2008) Evaluation Exchange Article
Suzanne Bouffard and Heather Weiss reframe family involvement as part of a broader complementary learning approach to promoting children’s success in education and in life.
Suzanne Bouffard, Ph.D. , Heather Weiss, Ed.D. (Spring 2008) Evaluation Exchange Article
This study provides a deeper understanding of how cultural practices combine with other factors to shape parenting behaviors among families in the United States in the first year of children's lives. Several findings provide information about ways in which practitioners and Latino families can more effectively engage with young Latino children to influence their cognitive, social, language, and literacy development—and therefore facilitate their school readiness.
Michael L. Lopez , Sandra Barrueco, Erika Feinauer, Jonathan C. Miles (June 2007) Research Report
The purpose of this paper is to determine what the evidence and conventional wisdom say about scaling up home visiting as one of the best ways to support parents and promote early childhood development. To answer this question, we examined the available research evidence, interviewed leaders from six of the national home visiting models, and interviewed researchers who have studied home visiting. The area of interest for guiding future research, practice, and policy is whether home visiting can be delivered at broad scale and with the quality necessary to attain demonstrable, positive outcomes for young children and their parents.
Heather Weiss , Lisa Klein (May 2007) Research Report
Harvard Family Research Project explains how it helps to ground evaluation in theories of the policy process.
Julia Coffman (Spring 2007) Evaluation Exchange Article
Examine how effective family-strengthening interventions can positively impact families and children in this practitioner-friendly brief from Harvard Family Research Project. Lessons From Family-Strengthening Interventions: Learning From Evidence-Based Practice is based on our review of interventions that have been rigorously evaluated through experimental and quasi-experimental studies. We offer educators, service providers, and evaluators recommendations for creating successful programs and evaluations.
Margaret Caspe , M. Elena Lopez (October 2006) Research Report
This multiple paper symposium at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association followed up on our panel session in 2005. It featured four research studies that used nuanced definitions of family involvement and cutting-edge methodologies to address processes of family involvement and academic outcomes for disadvantaged children across the developmental continuum.
Heather Weiss , Kathleen Hoover-Dempsey, Wendy Barnard, Suzanne Bouffard, Eric Dearing, and Christine McWayne (April 11, 2006) Conferences and Presentations
Caroline Wilkinson and Shelley Billig from RMC Research Corporation describe their evaluation of the New England Professional Development Initiative's cascade approach to professional development in early childhood education.
Caroline Wilkinson , Shelley H. Billig (Winter 2005/2006) Evaluation Exchange Article