Fifty years of the Child-Parent Center Education Program in Chicago and Beyond
Saturday, November 4, 2017: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
Picasso (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Panel Organizers: Judy A. Temple, University of Minnesota
Panel Chairs: Arthur J. Reynolds, University of Minnesota
Discussants: Barbara Bowman, Erikson Institute
The year 2017 marks the 50th
anniversary of the Chicago Child-Parent Center early education program. In the earliest use of federal Title 1 dollars for early childhood, the Child-Parent Center (CPC) program was created within the Chicago Public Schools to offer expanded preschool through 3rd
grade services to children and their families living in the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. The combination of a high-quality preschool, a strong parent involvement emphasis, and an integrated curriculum and small class sizes through the early years of elementary school has been served as the model for what is now called PreK-3rd
or PK-3 early interventions. One important objective of the extended and coherent PK-3 educational interventions is to sustain (and prevent fadeout) of early learning gains. In recent years, researchers studying the Child-Parent Centers were the recipients of a federal I3 Investing in Innovation grant to expand CPC programs into other cities within the Midwest. Also in recent years, the demonstrated success of the Chicago CPC program has caught the attention of social entrepreneurs who believe that this early childhood program not only is effective but has the potential to save local governments and school districts more money than it costs. In 2015, a major expansion of the Chicago CPC program was funded by private investors including Goldman Sachs as the third Pay –for-Success social impact financing initiative funded within the U.S. The panel consists of three papers on various aspects of the Child-Parent Center program. The chair is TBD but will be someone from the Chicago Public Schools early childhood program division. The discussant is from the Erikson Institute in Chicago.
This panel fits very well with the conference theme of “better data for better decisions.” Understanding what works and what features of an early childhood program are mostly linked to successful outcomes requires careful measurement of the key elements or ingredients of the intervention. It is crucial to attempt to measure the fidelity of the intervention across sites. Moreover, in the paper on using social impact financing through Pay-for-Success contracts, measurement of outcomes in terms of success targets is needed to structure the payments to the private investors who are investing in public preschool programs with the intention of getting paid back if a formal quantitative evaluation demonstrates that the intervention has met the targets needed for repayment of investors.