Research and Reports

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Bridging research and practice for early learning and expanded learning opportunities


Bridging research and practice for early learning and expanded learning opportunities

Our research at Cultivate Learning informs quality learning practices that help all children flourish. We identify and analyze new and existing assessment tools to evaluate their efficacy toward positive learning outcomes for children. We also evaluate new and existing programs or systems to better understand the way they function and to establish best practices for the fields of early learning and expanded learning opportunities.

Research and Reports

Seattle Pre-K Program Evaluation Study - Year 1 Report – September 2016
Seattle Pre-K Program Evaluation Study - Year 2 Report – October 2017

These reports present the findings from the impact evaluation of the Seattle Preschool Program. The findings focus on children’s learning and classroom quality. The reports also include comparable findings from other preschool studies and investigate the relationships between SPP children's learning gains and their classroom experiences. The Branagh Group has granted free use of their ECERS-3 scoring system for the SPP Evaluation project.

ELO Quality Initiative Pilot – September 2017

Out-of-class programming provides a wide range of enrichment opportunities for school-aged children and youth (ages 5-18). Research shows that participation in ELO programs is linked to improved attendance, social skills, critical problem-solving, collaboration, and innovative thinking. Cultivate Learning conducted at 34-week long evaluation of a pilot for Expanded Learning Opportunity Quality Initiative, whose goal is to build a high-quality, equitable, and state supported ELO system for Washington.

Filming Interactions to Nurture Development (FIND) – July 2017

In partnership with the Department of Early Learning (DEL) and the University of Oregon (UO), Cultivate Learning evaluated the implementation of a video coaching program called FIND, Filming Interactions to Nurture Development. The goal of this project is to understand the impacts of supportive interactions between childcare providers and children in infant and toddler environments. This evaluation project is being conducted in center-based and family child care programs in infant-toddler classrooms throughout 10 regions in Washington State. The evaluation activities started in April 2016.

Raising Seattle: A Proposal to Expand Preschool Services - March 2018

This proposal covers Seattle's progress toward implementing universal public Pre-K since its launch of the Seattle Preschool Program in 2015. The report reviews supporting evidence of publicly financed Pre-K on a state and national scale, an evaluation of gains in learning, and what support of expanding the Seattle Preschool Program in 2018 would entail.

Nurturing Early Learning: Resources to Support Young Children's Learning in the Outdoors - August 2018

This report describes the benefits of nature-based learning and outdoor play in connection with learning outcomes in children, as well as social-emotional and other development. It also provides strategies and practices for educators to facilitate outdoor learning.

Nurturing Early Learning: The Latest Science on Young Children’s Learning and the Outdoors (Institute Proceedings Report) - August 2018

Early learning programs can provide critical opportunities for outdoor play and learning.This report synthesizes key themes from Cultivate Learning's 2018 institute on nature-based learning, in partnership with IslandWood, Tiny Trees Preschool, Washington STEM and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Washington Workforce and COVID-19 Impact Survey of Licensed Childcare Providers - December 2020

In 2019-2020, in partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Families, Cultivate Learning at the University of Washington surveyed early care and education (ECE) and out-of-school time providers to understand the current status, working conditions, and perceptions of these educators and caregivers who work with children from birth to age 12. The Washington Workforce Survey replicated and expanded on the Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Survey (2017) undertaken by the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska. Cultivate Learning worked with stakeholders to finalize survey questions including focused questions on provider health and well-being. We initiated the survey just prior to the pandemic and followed up with a second survey repeating critical questions to understand the impacts of the first wave of COVID-19 on the field. These survey results provide valuable information to assist Washington’s ECE and out-of-school time system leaders to continue the vital work of ensuring a viable and prepared workforce.

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Teacher Toolbox Pilot Study - September 2021

In 2021, Cultivate Learning studied the impact of digital professional development to support educators and their approach to challenging behaviors in the classroom. The professional development approach includes a web “talk show” series, delivery of a curated box of content materials featured on the webvisodes, and online coaching. Previously, this approach had been successfully delivered with a focus on math concepts. The current study focuses on positive behavior support based on the Pyramid Model, a framework of evidence-based practices for promoting children’s social and emotional development to encourage educator reflection and feedback with coaches in a virtual framework. While planned prior to the pandemic, the intervention became more critical when coaches were no longer able to support educators in person. Results show that educators had an increased understanding of developmentally appropriate approaches to social and emotional learning, increased comfort using positive behavior support practices and decreased stress when responding to behavior that is challenging in the learning environment.

EarlyEdU Alliance® Paper 1: Issues and Impact

The EarlyEdU Alliance® is working to address a range of barriers that early care and education professionals face when pursuing degrees, including: affordability, access, relevance, effectiveness and connection. The EarlyEdU Impact Papers provide an in-depth description of the EarlyEdU approach and impact.

EarlyEdU Alliance® Paper 2: Stories from the Field

Learn how the EarlyEdU Alliance supports members as they build accessible pathways to affordable and effective higher education opportunities and degrees to meet the need for a growing number of early childhood educators. Our work is dependent on strong partnerships that support innovation. In this report, we relate stories from several states and IHEs that are leveraging EarlyEdU resources to increase access to affordable, effective, and relevant coursework and degrees for the ECE workforce.

EarlyEdU Alliance® Paper 3: Lessons Learned from Across the Nation

The EarlyEdU Alliance addresses a critical challenge: to ensure that early care and education providers and educators are equipped with theoretical knowledge and effective practices to nurture close to 13 million U.S. children ages 0-5. In this third impact paper, we share survey results detailing faculty and student feedback about the implementation of EarlyEdU resources and the benefits and challenges of engaging in competency-based coursework, new learning technologies, and field-based learning.

Early Achievers Standards Validation Study (2016)
Large Scale Psychometric Assessment of the ECERS-3 (2015-2018)
WaKIDS Reliability and Concurrent Validity Study (2012-2013)
Early Achievers Head Start and ECEAP Pilot (2012-2013)
WaKIDS Pilot (2010-2012)
Seeds to Success Pilot (2010-2011)

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