Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School

Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 11:15am

by Kenneth A. Dodge, Yu Bai, Helen F. Ladd, and Clara G. Muschkin (Duke University)
Child Development, 2016

North Carolina’s Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other). Student-level regression models with county and year fixed effects indicated significant positive impacts of each program on reading and math test scores and reductions in special education and grade retention in each grade. Effect sizes grew or held steady across years. Positive effects held for both high- and low-poverty families, suggesting spillover of effects to nonparticipating peers.

The full article can be found in Duke Space, Duke University's online repository of open access research.