North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten Program Evaluation Summary of Research (2002-2013)

Source: Ellen S. Peisner-Feinberg, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, May 2014

Purpose of the NC Pre-K Evaluation:
Since the NC Pre-K Program began, a variety of statewide evaluation studies have been conducted. These annual evaluations have included multiple studies of program services, classroom quality, and children’s outcomes during their pre-k year as well as longer-term into kindergarten and third grade. The primary research questions addressed by these evaluations have included:
• What were the key characteristics of the local NC Pre-K Programs?
• What was the quality of NC Pre-K classrooms and what factors were associated with better quality?
• What were the outcomes of children attending NC Pre-K and what factors were associated with better outcomes?
• To what extent have there been any changes over time in these results?

Key Findings:
Program Characteristics
• There have been consistent improvements in teacher qualifications—increases in the proportion of teachers with BA degrees and B-K licenses and decreases in the proportion of teachers with no credential.
• The NC Pre-K Program has continued to ensure that it primarily serves an at-risk, high service priority (children who have not been in a preschool program), and diverse population of children.
• NC Pre-K classrooms have continued to be offered in a variety of setting types, including public school, for-profit and non-profit child care, and Head Start