Preshool girl digging in a garden with a hand-held plastic shovel
Partnership for Pre-K Improvement header

Improving quality of pre-k on a national scale

Partnership for Pre-K Improvement header

Improving quality of pre-k on a national scale

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Supporting a National Strategy for Early Learning

In 2017, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded Cultivate Learning to be a partner in pre-k quality improvement, adding us to their national early learning strategy, which invests in publicly funded preschool programs in Washington, Oregon, and Tennessee. The Partnership for Pre-K Improvement (PPI) is a multi-year, cross-sectoral study focusing on improving the quality of state-funded pre-k programs in partnership with our anchor partners—Ounce of Prevention and Alliance for Early Success. Utilizing knowledge gained from these improvement processes, our goal is to inform statewide improvement of early learning systems in other parts of the nation. The central aims of the project are: first, to facilitate research practice with state partners; second, to strengthen the state partners’ role in continuous quality improvement of these programs; and third, to conduct a process evaluation of the statewide quality-improvement efforts through case studies and development of new tools.

By the end of the study in 2021, our goal is to have an interactive and evaluative tool that is useful for other states as they work to implement or improve pre-k. The Implementation Development Map (IDM) is a quantitative tool designed to capture multiple aspects of statewide improvement. The IDM, combined with the case studies, would allow those in the field of early learning to understand the intricate connections and unique conditions of programs in any state. Statewide successes have the potential to generate sustained improvement across the country, setting the national standard for pre-k.

Pre-school girl thinking

Our Team

Gail Joseph, Principal Investigator (PI) and Director, UW Cultivate Learning, Associate Professor in Early Childhood and Family Studies, UW College of Education
Molly Branson-Thayer, Co-PI and Project Lead, Director of Research to Practice, UW Cultivate Learning
Soojin Oh Park, Co-PI and Case Study Lead, Assistant Professor in Early Childhood and Family Studies, UW College of Education.
Tommy Conkling, Research Coordinator, UW Cultivate Learning
Micaela Moricet, Research Coordinator, UW Cultivate Learning
Chris Olsen-Phillips, Research Coordinator, UW Cultivate Learning
Theresa Lee, Research Assistant, UW College of Education
Nail Hassairi, Postdoctoral Research Associate at UW Cultivate Learning
Tom Halverson, Senior Lecturer and Director of the UW Master’s in Education Policy program, Co-PI faculty member on the PPI team
Nancy Hertzog, UW Professor of educational psychology and Director of the Robinson
Center for Young Scholars, Co-PI faculty member on the PPI team
Cricket Limlingan, Research Scientist in WA State, UW Cultivate Learning
Susan Sandall, UW Professor of Education, PI for the National Center on Quality Teaching & Learning

Stay Connected

cultiv8@uw.edu | (206) 221-0569
5001 25th Ave NE #201e Seattle, WA 98105 | UW Box # 354238

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