The National Center for Early Development and Learning (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten examined the pre-kindergarten programs of six states: California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia. The study had two primary purposes: to describe the variations of experiences for children in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs in school-related settings (public schools and state-funded pre-K classrooms in community-based settings), and to examine the relationships between variations in pre-kindergarten/kindergarten experiences and children's outcomes in early elementary school. The six states in the study were selected based on the significant amount of resources they have committed to pre-K initiatives. States were also selected to maximize the diversity in geography, program settings (public school or community), program intensity (full day versus part day), and educational requirements for teachers. Children were followed from the beginning of pre-K through the end of kindergarten. Within the 40 classrooms in each participating state, carefully trained data collectors conducted classroom observations twice each year, while additional surveys were used to gather information from administrators/principals, teachers, and parents.
Data were gathered on program services, (e.g., healthcare, meals, and transportation), program curriculum, teacher training and education, teachers' opinions of child development, and their instructional practices on subjects such as language, literacy, mathematics concepts, and social-emotional competencies. Within each participating pre-K classroom, four randomly selected children were assessed using a battery of individual instruments to measure language, literacy, mathematics, and related concept development, as well as social competence. In individual home-based interviews, information on socioeconomic, socio-cultural, and familial contexts were obtained through open-ended questions, structured ratings, and videotaped parent-child interactions.
Four random nested samples: First, a selection of zip codes, then child care sites, then classroom and then students