Making the Most of a Preschool Expansion Grant
- Is Massachusetts’ PEG being implemented effectively?
- Abt’s evaluation is answering key questions about the program.
- Abt’s findings are informing state and local program and policy development.
In late 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) was awarded a federal Preschool Expansion Grant (PEG) to expand high-quality early childhood education to more than 800 4-year-old children per year in five underserved communities. EEC wants to understand the implementation, impact, longitudinal outcomes, and costs of the program to inform its investments in preschool access and quality.
Abt Associates is leading the multi-year evaluation of the PEG program. The evaluation involves an implementation study, longitudinal study of outcomes for PEG children and families, impact study, and a cost study. Abt is currently in year three of the four-year evaluation.
In the first two years, PEG children on average demonstrated early literacy skills, early math skills, and vocabulary comprehension close to the level shown in national norming samples. PEG teachers and parents reported a high level of satisfaction with the program. Abt found that the PEG classrooms, on average, demonstrated a moderate to high--but variable--level of quality. These findings helped PEG stakeholders modify approaches and develop new strategies to support educators and families.