AIR Projects

AIR works with the federal government, states, county offices of education, school districts, First 5 commissions, foundations, and other organizations on a variety of issues related to early care and education. A sample of AIR's recent projects includes the following:

Evaluating the implementation of Transitional Kindergarten in California. Funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Heising-Simons Foundation, AIR is studying the initial implementation of Transitional Kindergarten, the first year of a new two-year kindergarten program, in California.

Describing Quality Rating and Improvement Systems in California. AIR is working with the California Department of Education to complete a descriptive study of local Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) in California.

Estimating the Cost of Providing Preschool to High-Need Four-Year-Olds in California.  On behalf of Preschool California, AIR analyzed the proportion of high-need four-year-olds enrolled, by zip code and county, in three publicly-contracted preschool programs:  State Preschool, Head Start, and General Child Care.  The study estimated enrollment based on the percentage of children served who live in school attendance areas with API scores of 1-3 or 1-5, of those who live in Title 1 school attendance areas, and of those eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch.  AIR then estimated the cost of making a quality preschool program available to all four-year-olds in these neighborhoods, building on investments in the existing publicly contracted programs and assuming an 80 percent participation rate.

Preschool Technical Assistance in Merced County. AIR analyzed the feasibility of making voluntary preschool programs available to all four-year-olds in Merced County. The study built upon the countywide network of school readiness programs that resulted from the partnership between First 5 Merced and the Merced County Office of Education, and provided a ten-year action plan for phasing in access to Preschool for All (PFA) countywide. The study informed First 5 Merced’s experience as one of First 5 California’s Preschool for All Demonstration sites.  Download the Preschool for All in Merced County Feasibility Study and Action Plan.

Preschool Technical Assistance in San Diego County. AIR analyzed the implications of the San Diego County Office of Education’s Needs Assessment for implementing Preschool for All in San Diego County, estimated the cost of a PFA demonstration project and of making preschool available on a voluntary basis to all four-year-olds countywide, and developed a report summarizing the findings and recommendations stemming from these analyses.

Preschool Technical Assistance in Riverside County. On behalf of First 5 Riverside County, AIR analyzed the feasibility of making quality preschool available to all four-year-old children in Riverside County and offered scenarios for progressing toward that goal. The study also suggested possible finance options that include the direction of a portion of new and existing federal and state education funds to the preschool age group, and parent/user fees.

Sonoma County Preschool Feasibility & Phase-in Plan.  On behalf of First 5 Sonoma County, AIR analyzed the feasibility of making quality preschool available to all four-year-old children in Sonoma County and proposed three scenarios for progressing toward that goal.  Download the Sonoma County Preschool Feasibility & Phase-in Plan.

Evaluation of PFA in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. AIR is conducting a three-year joint process evaluation (which began in December of 2005) to assess the implementation of Preschool for All in San Mateo and San Francisco Counties. The process evaluation is designed to investigate and document the impact of PFA on children, families, providers, and the community; and identify the most important factors in the success of PFA classrooms and of children who participate in the system.  Download the full Year 1 PFA Evaluation Report and Executive Summary.

School Readiness and Family Literacy Evaluation for First 5 Los Angeles. AIR is conducting evaluations of two key programs funded by First 5 LA: the School Readiness Initiative and the Family Literacy Initiative. The School Readiness Initiative is designed to evaluate the extent to which 42 School Readiness programs supported by First 5 LA are meeting the goal of ensuring that both children and parents are ready for children’s transition to kindergarten. The Family Literacy evaluation is designed to investigate the progress that children and parents in 22 grantee programs are making in literacy skills and the impact the Initiative is having on the coordination of family literacy services across the county.   Download the Phase I Family Literacy Final Report.

Universal Preschool Child Outcome Study (UPCOS). The purpose of the UPCOS project is to understand how children participating in preschool programs funded by Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP) are learning and growing. First 5 LA, in partnership with LAUP, has contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to learn about ways in which LAUP programs can continue to improve their services for the children and families in Los Angeles. The study includes assessments of preschool children and classroom quality. AIR and Los Angeles-based Juarez & Associates are subcontractors to Mathematica in this study.

Sonoma County Plan.pdf1.16 MB
PFA Year 1 Final Report_11_17_06.pdf382.28 KB
PFA_Report_EX SUM_11_17_final.pdf178.61 KB
FL evaluation Phase I 3-7-07_REVISED.pdf1.21 MB
Merced_PFAFeasibility_0201c06.pdf463.48 KB