The effectiveness of Educare, a center-based early education program, in improving child outcomes at age 3 was evaluated in a randomized clinical trial. Educare programs serve children from birth to age 5 and are designed to reduce the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more advantaged peers. This study began following 239 children from low-income families who were randomly assigned as infants (<19 months) to Educare or a business-as-usual control group. At age 3, assessments of the skills of 202 children remaining in the study revealed significant differences in favor of children in the treatment group on auditory language skills, early math skills, and parent-reported problem behaviors. Effect sizes were in the modest range, although not as strong as the previously reported age 2 findings. No effects were found for observations of parent-child interactions, observer-rated child behaviors, or parent-rated social competence. For English-language and math skills, children who were dual language learners (DLLs) benefitted more from treatment than non-DLLs. Analyses of outcomes by child care type, regardless of treatment group assignment, showed that children in Educare had better language, math, and behavioral scores than children in less formal care, whereas children in other center-based care only had higher language scores than children in less formal care. Differences in outcomes between Educare and other center-based care were not significant.
- Achievement gap
- Center-Based care
- Infants and toddlers
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science