Preschool and kindergarten impacts of the Midwest expansion of the Child–Parent Centers in the Saint Paul public schools.

Arthur J. Reynolds, Brandt A Richardson, Sangyoo Lee

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The Midwest Child-Parent Center (CPC) Expansion began preschool implementation in fall 2012 in 5 Minnesota and Illinois districts. This study reports preschool and kindergarten impact findings for the Saint Paul Public School District. It is the first impact study of CPC outside of Chicago. After documenting that implementation quality was relatively high on the 6 CPC elements (effective learning, collaborative leadership, aligned curriculum, parent involvement, professional development, and continuity and stability), matched-group analyses of 433 students utilizing propensity score weighting indicated that CPC participants had significantly higher levels of language and literacy proficiency in both preschool and kindergarten than comparison-group participants in the usual district preschool and kindergarten programs. Overall composite effect sizes were .51 SD at the end of preschool and .36 SD at the end of kindergarten, which translate to performance gains of nearly half of a year. At the end of kindergarten, 61.0% of CPC participants met the district’s literacy benchmark compared to 47.4% for the comparison group. We also found that parents of CPC participants attended a significantly greater number of school events and workshops. However, no differences favoring CPC were detected for preschool or kindergarten attendance. Impacts were generally similar for Dual Language Learners. Students with 2 years of CPC (preschool and kindergarten) showed better performance in kindergarten reading stage and fluency than comparison group but not compared to the 1-year group. This was similar for Dual Language Learners. Findings indicate that the CPC program shows evidence that it can be effectively scaled and that the program yields impacts in preschool and kindergarten that exceed the usual early childhood programming in Saint Paul.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-505
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Psychological Association


  • achievement
  • early childhood education
  • evaluation
  • family support
  • school readiness


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