Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce) initiated the Educare Chicago Follow-Up Study in 2005 to determine how well our high-quality, birth-to-five, early care and education program prepared children and their families for elementary school and beyond. This ongoing study is designed as a longitudinal, mixed methods investigation of 12 cohorts of over 300 former Educare Chicago students and their families. Our research team hopes to follow graduates’ achievements throughout their K-12 education and into adulthood.
The study findings help support our early childhood policy and advocacy work and drive continuous quality improvement at Educare Chicago, as well as at the national Educare Learning Network of schools. The study findings also contribute to the body of evidence that confirms the long-lasting, positive outcomes of a high-quality early educational experience.
The Educare Chicago Follow-Up Study continues to provide researchers, policymakers and practitioners valuable insights on how to improve the quality of early learning environments for all children, including those living in often under-resourced communities.