Research to Practice

Early learning system planners need to understand what the latest research suggests for policy and practice. AIR translates "research to practice" by analyzing current findings in early care and education, school readiness, and child development and summarizing best practices for policy-makers, administrators, and providers.

NEW! AIR has recently completed a meta-analysis of the condition of children in California and recent research on best practices for early care and education services in the state. This report is intended to provide baseline information to stakeholders and policymakers as the state moves forward in developing a comprehensive early learning plan.  You may also access the Executive Summary of the report here.

County data is also included.


NEW!  AIR recently conducted a series of webinars on topics covered by the meta-analysis report.  You may view the recordings from these webinars below:

Meta-analysis overview 

Access to Care (11/27/12)

Program Quality Assessment (11/27/12)

Best practices with dual language learners (12/4/12)

Developmental Screening, Services to Children with Special Needs, and Early Childhood Mental Health (12/5/12)

Child Assessments and Effective Data Systems (12/11/12)

Finance, Governance, and Systems Issues (12/12/12) 


AIR's Combined Table of POP Practices summarizes the practices of the 9 Power of Preschool counties (Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Mateo, Yolo, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Ventura, Merced, and San Diego). The table includes such information as the communities/populations served, the participation rate, child outcome measures, developmental screening practices and tools, parent engagement and education strategies, reimbursement rates, and more!

Below are three of AIR's policy briefs: 

The first policy brief, Preschool Supply and Demand in the State of California: An Assessment of Preschool Enrollment in Publicly Contracted and Privately Operated Preschool Programs, presents the challenges associated with conducting a needs assessment, findings from other studies of preschool supply and demand, and a summary of how the Preschool Provider Survey has helped AIR refine its needs assessment.

The second policy brief, First 5 Power of Preschool: Lessons from an Experiment in Tiered Reimbursement, describes the variations in reimbursement rates in the nine PoP counties; examines the cost basis underlying the rates to determine whether a sound rationale exists for the variations across counties; compares the PoP rates to the reimbursement rates for Title 5 programs and voucher care in California, and previous cost estimates for quality preschool at the state level; and recommends appropriate criteria for preschool cost reimbursements.

The third policy brief, Financing a Full-Day, Full-Year Preschool Program in California: Strategies and Recommendations, examines the true cost of a high-quality, full-day, full-year program serving preschool-age children; compares the existing reimbursement rates and rate structures for full-day, full-year state-funded programs serving preschool children; considers the impact of changes in duration and quality levels on the cost of a preschool program; illustrates the benefits of leveraging First 5 Power of Preschool demonstration project funds - and potentially other finance sources - to augment the Standard Reimbursement Rate for General Child Care to finance a full-day program; and provides recommendations for developing criteria for appropriate cost reimbursement of a full-day, full-year program serving preschool-age children.