Participation and Results
As of October 2013, 35 ECFE school district projects have participated by collecting/recording data and/or completing reports since the launch of the project 2012.
As shown in the map below, the majority of projects-to-date are in the MSP metro area, however the number of participating districts outside of the metro is increasing.
Results from the 2012 report on over 3500 families show:
- Over 90% of parents agree that their parenting has improved because of attending ECFE
- Areas with the greatest amount of improvement include
- Awareness of how children change as they grow
- Understanding children's temperament and their behavior
- Using everyday experiences to help children learn
- Learning more about community resources
- Positive changes in parenting as a result of attending ECFE are either the same or better for parents who have less income and/or attended less school
- Parents' open-ended comments overwhelmingly support the experience they had in their ECFE program
- 90% of parents reported that the parenting educators are effective and that interactions with other parents help them to feel supported
Local and Statewide Impact
Participating programs have reported sharing the evaluation report results with school district officials and community education administrators to maintain local support for ECFE, and local media for public relations. They have included quotes from the parent surveys to highlight the voices of ECFE parents during lobbying efforts. They have motivated ECFE parenting educators and early childhood teachers by revealing open-ended answers from the report stating how great they are at their jobs and what they mean to parents and children.
The University combines the resulting data to create a larger picture of ECFE's impact on families across the state. Analysis of the aggregated data is used to prepare an annually updated report that is shared with local and state legislators, and beyond (Senator Franken has a copy).
Susan Walker presented,"The Stakeholder Impacts of the ECFE Evaluation Project" at the Society for Research on Child Development special topics conference, Strengthening Connections Among Child and Family Research, Policy, and Practice in Alexandria, Virginia, April 4. (Click the image to open a PDF of the poster).