Selected Journal Articles and Policy Reports
The Divergent Experiences of Early Educators in Schools and Child Care Centers during COVID-19: Findings from Virginia
Bassok, D., Michie, M., Cubides-Mateus, D.M., Doromal, J.B., & Kiscaden, S. (2020). Virginia PDG B-5 Evaluation Report. Available from SEE-Partnerships
When COVID-19 arrived in the United States in March 2020, Virginia’s school-based early childhood education (ECE) programs all shut down by state order. Child care centers, in contrast, made independent decisions about their operations. This report summarizes May 2020 survey findings from over 1,600 Virginia early educators, highlighting major differences in the experiences of teachers in school-based versus center-based settings during the coronavirus pandemic. School-based ECE teachers quickly moved to virtual teaching for the remainder of the school year. Many were concerned about lower quality interactions with the children they serve. In contrast, child care teachers experienced center closings, job loss, reduced hours, new cleaning and social distancing regulations, and shifting populations of children. Child care lead teachers were five times more likely than school-based lead teachers to live in a household receiving unemployment benefits. Two of every five child care teachers in our sample struggled to access food, and over a third could not afford to pay for their medical needs.
Helping Parents Navigate the Early Childhood Education Enrollment Process: Experimental Evidence from New Orleans
Weixler, L., Valant, J., Bassok, D., Doromal, J.B., & Gerry, A. (2020). Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 42(3), 307-330. doi:10.3102/0162373720922237
Enrolling in publicly funded early childhood education involves searching for programs, applying, verifying eligibility, and registering with the program. Many families do not complete this process, despite demonstrated interest. In this study, we assessed support for families as they verify eligibility as a means for increasing enrollment completion rates. Working with district administrators, we randomly assigned families to receive either (a) the district’s usual, modest communications; (b) the usual communications plus weekly text message reminders with a formal tone; or (c) the usual communications plus weekly personalized, friendly text message reminders. Text message reminders increased verification rates by seven percentage points (regardless of tone), and personalized messages increased enrollment rates for some groups. Exchanges between parents and administrators revealed the obstacles parents confronted.
How Safe are Early Childhood Education Programs? New Evidence from the Universe of All Licensed Centers in North Carolina
Doromal, J.B., Bassok, D., & Wong, V.C. (revision requested). Working paper available here
The reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) in 2014 emphasized the need to ensure better safety across the diverse landscape of early childhood education (ECE) programs. Media accounts highlight incidents where young children are injured or die in ECE settings. But aside from these egregious incidents, we know little about the extent to which ECE programs meet states’ safety guidelines. To fill this gap, the present study applied data scraping techniques to compile a novel dataset that tracks all violations observed from the full universe of licensed, center-based ECE programs in North Carolina (n=4,314). We used these data to examine the statewide frequency, regulatory category, and severity of safety violations observed during routine, unannounced licensing inspections of programs. We find that most programs had at least one violation when inspected, and a third of the programs had one or more severe violations observed. We also find that relative to publicly-operated programs such as Head Start or state pre-kindergarten, private programs were about 10 percentage points more likely to have safety violations, even when comparing programs within the same communities.
Working Papers and Current Projects
"Experimental impacts of financial incentives on teacher retention in early childhood: New evidence from Virginia " (with Daphna Bassok, Molly Michie, and Vivian C. Wong).
"Following the leader: Supportive leadership and teacher retention in child care settings" (with Anna J. Markowitz).
"Child care closures and their role in systemwide quality improvement" (with Daphna Bassok and Scott Latham).
Please refer to my CV for a more comprehensive summary of my research activity.