NCER 2008-2009 Effects of Preschool Curriculum Programs on School Readiness, by U.S. Department of Education

A variety of preschool curricula is available and in widespread use, however, there is a lack of evidence from rigorous evaluations regarding the effects of these curricula on children’s school readiness. The lack of such information is important as early childhood center-based programs have been a major, sometimes the sole, component of a number of federal and state efforts to improve young at-risk children’s school readiness (e.g., Head Start, Even Start, public pre-kindergarten). In 2005, nearly half (47%) of all 3- to 5-year-old children from low-income families were enrolled in either part-day or full-day early childhood programs (U.S. Department of Education 2006). In 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) began the Preschool Curriculum Evaluation Research (PCER) initiative