Kidsteps II: Promoting school readiness through social-emotional skill building in preschool

Funded by US Department of Education/Institute for Education Sciences

Early Learning Efficacy Study (Grant# R305A130336) 

University of Massachusetts Medical School is conducting a study that involves 64 preschool and Head Start classrooms in Worcester County over four years.  We are evaluating how different preschool curricula prepare children for kindergarten, and specifically are testing if a new preschool Second Step Early Learning curriculum (Committee for Children) helps children develop better social skills and executive functioning.  Some classrooms, selected at random, receive the SSEL curriculum and some deliver their usual curriculum.  We expect to have about 1600 children enrolled by the end of grant.  In addition to evaluating how the children learn in preschool through teacher evaluations and individual assessments of all four year old children, we follow children into kindergarten and have the kindergarten teachers rate the children’s social and academic skills.  We also gather kindergarten entry screening scores, whether children need special services, and if they are promoted to first grade.  We may not see big differences until the end of the study, however, we will be providing all preschools, elementary schools, parents, and teachers a brief report of our preliminary findings each year and will be posting these along with articles and information on this web site.