Findings from 15 Years of Early Childhood Partnership Research

Full Description: 

For over 15 years, EDC has analyzed the impact of partnerships among early childhood education programs on the accessibility and quality of services for young children—particularly children from low-income families. This issue is of great interest to stakeholders nationwide who see the potential of early childhood education partnerships to help maximize resources, strengthen the workforce, expand services, and enhance the quality of preschool learning environments (including Head Start programs, community-based child care centers, and public preKindergarten programs) to support all young children's school readiness and success.

Findings from our Partnership Impact Study and Child Care Quality Study indicate that partnership predicts improved classroom quality; partnership duration predicts observed quality; and partnership predicts some improvements in school readiness outcomes. 2015 findings from our Child Care Collaboration Study—an examination of the impact of partnerships on infant and toddler care—suggest that although full collaboration (sharing ideas and resources, communicating frequently, joint decision-making) among state-level child care, Head Start, and prekindergarten leaders has been shown to maximize resources and contribute to high-quality care across agencies, few states have achieved a “full collaboration” level of interaction. Barriers to full collaboration include conflicting program regulations and high turnover in leaders that requires constant rebuilding of collaborative relationships. The following EDC reports, briefs, and articles share findings from these and related studies:

  1. State Policies and Practices Supporting Care for Infants and Toddlers
  2. A National Snapshot of State-Level Collaboration for Early Care and Education
  3. Head Start/Child Care Partnerships: Program Characteristics and Classroom Quality
    (Early Childhood Education Journal)
  4. Perspectives on the Impact of Prekindergarten Expansion
  5. Working Together to Help the Youngest
  6. Child Care Quality Study: The Impact of Head Start Partnership on Child Care Quality (Final Report)
  7. Child Care/Head Start Partnership Study: Final Report
  8. Early Care and Education Partnerships: State Actions and Local Lessons (Final Report)
  9. Child Care and Head Start Partnership Snapshot: What the Research Says About Establishing and Sustaining Partnerships
  10. Child Care/Head Start Partnership Snapshot: What the Research Says About Financial Arrangements and Resources
  11. Supporting Parents Through Head Start-Child Care Center Partnerships (International Journal of Economic Development)
  12. Research Brief: State Strategies to Support Early Care and Education Partnerships
  13. Research Brief: Partnering Programs More Likely to Offer Comprehensive Services
  14. Research Brief: Blending Early Care and Education Funds—Issues, Opportunities, and Strategies


Diane SchilderMeghan Broadstone, Heidi Rosenberg, Sarah Kim, Ashley Smith, Ben Chauncey, Kimberly Elliott, Candy Miller, Sheila Skiffington, Ellen Kiron, Youngok Lim, Gary Resnick

Publication Date: 

Early childhood education partnerships report cover