Early Childhood Research Alliance Creates Tools for Preschool Program Managers
Increasingly, the managers of early-childhood programs are being asked to connect their programs to a child's preparation for kindergarten. But before administrators can improve their preschool programs, they need to have a better idea of what's already taking place.
To help in that effort, a federally-funded research alliance in early education has created a survey for teachers and program managers to help answer questions about current preschool practice.
The intended users of these surveys would be state program administrators, policymakers, and others who need to see the big picture of early-childhood education in a region or state. The benefit of using these surveys is their comprehensiveness—the questions touch on issues such as gathering educational information on the teachers, listing the formal assessments given to students, and asking teachers and administrators to explain what kind of professional development would work best for them. The questions can also be changed or adapted as needed for a particular purpose.
The surveys are part of the work of the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance, a project of the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands, which serves a group of New England states, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Two short videos explain more about the survey instruments and the work of the alliance. In the first video, REL researcher Clare Irwin talks about the survey's development. In the second clip, Judi Stevenson-Garcia, a member of the research alliance and an assessment specialist for the Rhode Island Department of Education, explains how she finds these surveys useful, and how other state early-childhood administrators might be able to use them.