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About the ECFE Program Evaluation Collaboration

Between 2008 and 2012, a committee of ECFE coordinators, parent educators, and researchers met to create a tool that ECFE programs could use to evaluate their effectiveness. This work built on the committee's efforts to create the Parent Education Core Curriculum Framework and Indicators. The current evaluation project is the result.

The evaluation is largely quantitative and uses a retrospective pretest design (data is collected once from parents, avoiding the need to match up parents at the beginning and end of a program). The survey has few questions and is written at an easy reading level, allowing it to be completed in a short amount of time at the end of a class.

The evaluation measures the change in parents' beliefs about their parenting and about their children's development based on their participation in ECFE. Questions on the survey reflect the following topics:

Data Collection and Entry

Programs collect data once, generally near the end of the school year or semester. This enables parents who are new to ECFE to have some experience before reporting their 'after' perceptions. Programs that schedule classes according to a different system are encouraged to consult with the University to determine data collection timing.

We recommend collecting surveys from at least 70% of the families who are enrolled in the ECFE program. A high return requires careful planning and collecting surveys at a time when most parents attend class. The last day of class is usually NOT a good day.

The survey is available in Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Karen. Methods for data collection with non-English speaking parents can be determined with the University.

We are in the process of developing online administration of the survey (within the next year). Programs interested in this option must agree to adhere to careful standards for data collection to ensure at least a 60% response rate.

Parent educators also complete a survey that goes with each class, and the coordinator completes one page of questions.

Programs are responsible for data entry and are encouraged to use volunteers, interns, Americorps volunteers, and others if staff time is limited. Data entry by the University is available for a pre-determined, hourly rate.