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The Benefits of Reading to Children

It is a known fact that reading to children helps them develop the pre-literacy skills needed to be ready for school.  A new study proves, however, that reading can also help children develop positive social skills and prevent aggression, hyperactivity and attention deficit. A recent study looked at 675 families and showed that reading aloud […]

First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam Addresses Inaugural Luncheon in Norfolk for WE3: Women Elevating Early Education

New Initiative Launched on May 1 with Goal of Cultivating, Igniting and Uniting Women Across Virginia as Advocates for Early Education Norfolk, Va. May 3, 2018 – E3: Elevate Early Education launched WE3: Women Elevating Early Education at an inaugural luncheon in Norfolk on Tuesday that was attended by First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam […]

Report: The Road to High-Quality Early Learning

The Road to High-Quality Learning: Lessons from the States released by Learning Policy Institute describes and analyzes how four states—Michigan, West Virginia, Washington, and North Carolina—have built high-quality early education systems. It is based on reviews of policy documents, studies, and data in each state, as well as observations of programs and interviews with 159 individuals, […]

Outcomes of Quality Birth-to-Five Early Childhood Education

Highlights of the five outcomes associated with high-quality, birth-to-five early childhood education in infographic form from The Heckman Equation.

Pre-K Programs Lead to Furthered Education Later in Life

The largest study to date of publicly funded early education program shows a major, sustained educational boost. Recent research has offered renewed evidence that structured math and literacy practice in addition to regular parental involvement in school programs during the first eight years of life can have a major impact on a child’s future educational achievement. A […]

High Quality Matters!

Research is clear that high quality matters and should be at the core of all early learning environments. A relentless focus on quality in the early childhood classroom leads to learning and increased success for children. When the quality of instruction and teacher-child interactions are strong, the readiness gap closes. It is time to reframe […]

JLARC Summary: Improving Virginia’s Early Childhood Development Programs

As many of you know, E3 advocated for nearly three years for the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission(JLARC) to conduct a study on early childhood. Why did we advocate for this study? In 2011, many policymakers, business leaders and stakeholders were asking questions about how Virginia was currently spending dollars in this space and […]

School Success Starts at Home

Researchers followed 2,200 children from ethnically diverse, low-income families. They found that children who had a positive early learning environment—one that focuses on reading and storytelling, involves learning materials in the home, and includes parental interaction—performed better in the fifth grade than children from middle-income households.

High-quality Child Care: A two-generation solution for a productive American workforce

A study of NC’s Smart Start & More At Four programs found that children in counties that spent more per child were two months ahead in reading and 1.5 months ahead in math by the fifth grade when compared with children in counties that sent less. High quality matters! And it has an impact on […]

The Arts as Therapy

A new study from Child Trends explains that involving children from low-income families in preschool programs that include music, dance and visual arts may reduce their stress levels. Children from low-income families are more likely to experience stressful family interactions that result from parents’ anxiety about trying to make ends meet, explained Eleanor Brown, PhD, […]

Making the Case for Kindergarten Readiness Data in Virginia

This fall marks the 3rd year of the voluntary statewide roll out of the Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP)—an initiative to expand our understanding of the early learning skills that young children display at the beginning of kindergarten.  Almost half of all school divisions are now participating, and almost 20,000 students. That’s a lot of […]

Kindergarten Assessments Begin to Shape Instruction

Kindergarten entry assessments, which some states call “kindergarten readiness assessments” or “kindergarten entry inventories,” are intended to guide a teacher’s instructional practice. They may include direct assessment of children’s skills, teacher observations, or both. They’re intended to give teachers a well-rounded picture of the whole child, including his or her academic, social, and physical development. […]

The Foundations of Reading: Talking is Teaching

I was recently on an airplane watching a Dad traveling with his baby daughter, who was probably just about a year old. The plane we were on was having mechanical difficulty that caused it to remain on the tarmac for nearly an hour before take-off, no short amount of time for such a young child. […]

Nurse-Family Partnership: Parental education and early health result in better child outcomes.

Professor Heckman’s latest research, An Analysis of the Memphis Nurse-Family Partnership Program (NFP), puts a widely-known voluntary home visiting program through its most rigorous analysis to date and finds important short- and long-term impacts for mothers and their children. This study evaluates a randomized controlled trial of the NFP program conducted in Memphis, Tennessee in […]


Amanda Williford, a research associate professor at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, is leading the way in helping Virginia roll out the Kindergarten Readiness Program, a readiness assessment for incoming kindergartners. The Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Program (VKRP) expands the assessment of children kindergarten beyond literacy (PALS), to include the school readiness domains of […]
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