Clayton Early Learning
16Dec/14Off

An Exciting Partnership: Clayton Early Learning and the Denver Preschool Program

Peter Blank

As you may recall, the Denver Preschool Program (DPP) made the news this past election season, as voters were presented with a ballot initiative to slightly increase the Denver Preschool tax, which has funded the program since 2006.  The measure passed, with 55.28%[1] of voters choosing to have DPP continue providing high quality preschool for Denver families through 2026.

DPP encourages families to enroll their children in preschool by providing tuition credits to parents to offset the cost of preschool.  DPP also works to provide resources, such as professional development opportunities, and quality measures to participating preschool programs that serve Denver’s children.

What may not have been highlighted in the news, is Clayton Early Learning’s role in the assessment and evaluation of the Denver Preschool Program over the last six years.  The Clayton Early Learning Institute (Clayton) has collaborated with Augenblick, Palaich and Associates since the 2007-2008 program year to deliver high quality evaluation of the program, specifically related to the development of children enrolled in DPP.

In the second year of DPP’s existence (2008), Clayton developed an evaluation to look at how effective the program was in a variety of areas related to the development of participating children. This evaluation was designed to look at important questions about DPP such as, but not limited to, what extent participating children progress in their language, literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional development and to what extent enrolled children are prepared for kindergarten.  Having completed its seventh year of this evaluation, Clayton can now not only look at current participants in DPP, but past participants as well.  Clayton is able to compare past DPP participants to other students of the same grade level, providing important longitudinal data related to school readiness and school success, and how they relate to DPP.

The Research and Evaluation Team at Clayton randomly selects 200 families enrolled in DPP to participate in the study each year. Family participation is completely voluntary.  The team focuses on collecting data from two sources: child assessments and parent surveys.  The team uses standardized assessments that focus on math, pre-literacy, and language skills, and are able to deliver them in both English and Spanish.  The results of the evaluation are analyzed and compiled in a report that is then shared with the staff at the Denver Preschool Program.  These annual reports and data have helped highlight the success of DPP over the years.

This continued partnership with the Denver Preschool Program is just another example of how Clayton Early Learning is using its vast and varied talents to help shape the important field of Early Childhood Education right here in Denver.

For more information on the Denver Preschool Program you can visit their website at http://www.dpp.org.

For more information on the Clayton Early Learning Institute’s work with the DPP evaluation you can contact Caroline Ponce at CPonce@claytonearlylearning.org or (303) 355-4411 x252.



[1]Denver (2014, November). Denver Election Results. Retrieved from City and County of Denver: https://www.denvergov.org/electionresults

 

 

Peter Blank

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