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Improve Early Grade-Level Reading

Strategies Success Stories

Increase quality early care and education

High quality early education programs that support the full range of children’s development show long-term positive effects on child wellbeing and later school success.1

Improve K-3 academic success

The benefits of high quality early childhood experiences are undermined if children are subsequently exposed to low quality early elementary education (grades K-3).2 Emerging research is pointing policymakers toward more effective practices and policies to enhance K-3 learning opportunities and ensure that gains made from early childhood investments continue into K-12.

Improve school attendance

Success in school and later life depends, in part, on attending school. Children who attend regularly are more likely to succeed academically, socially and emotionally, and have a greater chance of becoming economically productive and engaged citizens.

Support and strengthen vulnerable families

Child development and long term child outcomes are impaired when parents are unable to provide nutritious meals, stimulating home and child care environments, and stable living situations.3

Increase access to health care

Children’s health is directly related to school performance at all levels. Preventive and developmental health services positively affect children’s health trajectories. Low-income young children are particularly vulnerable to factors causing poor health outcomes.

1 Takanishi and Bogard, “Effective Educational Programs for Young Children.”

2 Currie, J. and Thomas, D.(2000). School quality and the longer-term effects of Head Start. Journal of Human Resources, 35 (4):755-774; Lee, V.E. and Loeb, S. (1995). Where do Head Start attendees end up? One reason why preschool effects fade out. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 17 (1): 62-82.

3 Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University (2007). A Science-Based Framework for Early Childhood Policy: Using Evidence to Improve Outcomes in Learning, Behavior, and Health for Vulnerable Children. Retrieved January 6, 2009.

4 Belfield, C. R. (2006). An Economic Analysis of Pre-K in Arkansas. Washington : Pre-K Now.

5 Aos, S., Lieb, J., Mafiels, M., Miller, M., and Pennucci, A. (2004). Benefits and cost of prevention and early intervention programs for youth. Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.


The Strengthening Families Initiative improves the outcomes of young children through a comprehensive approach based on extensive child abuse prevention research. 


A Review of School Readiness Practices in the Sates: Early Learning Guidelines and Assessments


Ending Social Promotion

Oklahoma law requires students to be able to read in order to move on from third grade.