Frequently asked questions
What is CPC P-3?
The Child-Parent Center Preschool to 3rd Grade (CPC P-3) program is a school reform effort designed to promote school readiness skills and effective transition to elementary school so that gains are sustained throughout K-12 education. It aims to strengthen overall well-being and achievement through implementation of six core elements: effective learning experiences, collaborative leadership, aligned curriculum, parent involvement and engagement, professional development, and continuity and stability.
Why a cpcp3.org website?
As knowledge on approaches to improving learning continues to grow, information and resources on evidence-based strategies for educators and policymakers is ever more fragmented. The cpcp3.org website provides a go-to place to access a variety of resources about improving learning opportunities for children, families, schools, and communities. Although the CPC P-3 program manual can be purchased on this site, many free resources are available here for anyone interested in education, child development, health, and well-being.
Why is preschool to 3rd grade programming needed? Isn’t good preschool enough?
The educational enrichment of preschool education provides a strong foundation for learning but it alone cannot ensure later success or permanently close achievement gaps. For example, only about half of the 3rd grade achievement gap in reading and math is evident at kindergarten entry. Thus without strong K-3 education, the early achievement gap closed by good preschool opens back up again. The opportunity to participate for up to 6 years of services from ages 3 to 9 can promote achievement excellence rather than just basic competence.
Preschool to 3rd grade programming is also needed to reduce the chances that the effects of early learning drop off over time. By aligning instruction from year to year, as well as continuing educational and family supports, learning gains can be increased even further. Consequently, CPC P-3 is designed to sustain early childhood learning gains over K-12 education.
Does the entire CPC model need to be implemented?
While CPC P-3 distinctly identifies six key elements, the success of the model lies within the cumulative impact of all six elements. In order to achieve the results seen through our research, it takes the synergy of all six elements, building on each other, to produce the comprehensive and long-term gains observed among Child-Parent Center children and their families. However, implementing any of the elements can provide significant benefits to children.
Which elements have the best evidence of effectiveness?
Parent Involvement and Engagement
Early parent involvement sets the stage for a cyclic process of continued parent involvement, student motivation, and school achievement from preschool throughout sixth grade. Participation in 5 or more parent activities during preschool and kindergarten were associated with a three-month increase in kindergarten reading achievement. For every year of high parent involvement, high school drop-out decreased by 21 percent and the likelihood of high school completion increased by 32 percent.
Continuity and Stability
A stable school environment promotes year-to-year continuity by limiting mobility of students in the program. The impacts of this are twofold: first, the negative impacts of mobility are eliminated, and second, the longer a student stays in the CPC P-3 program, the bigger the gains. Continuity and stability are also an important component of sustaining gains. Research has shown that if students enter poorer quality schools after early childhood intervention, fade-out effects can occur. The fact that poor quality schools can undermine early intervention efforts promotes the need for continuing enrichment programs in early grades to help retain initial gains.
Effective Learning Experiences
Effective learning experiences result in more engagement in the learning process, which can affect achievement for years to come. Evidence from the CPC P-3 expansion supports the benefits of small classes on student engagement. It has also been found that students in highly engaged classrooms experienced greater gains in learning in preschool compared with students in less-engaged classrooms.
How do I implement CPC P-3?
Basic steps to implementation:
How can HCRC help me implement CPC P-3?
The HCRC staff is available to provide technical assistance and offer a variety of support through:
How do child care centers establish partnerships with schools to implement the program?
Building a culture of continuity requires collaboration between the child care centers that offer preschool programming and neighborhood elementary schools. A P-3 partnership is formed through developing an intentional and explicit P-3 community which offers bridging activities and opportunities between the sites.
Example strategies include:
How do I fund the CPC?
Existing public resources: CPC P-3 can be implemented within any existing public revenue source as long as the requirements and guidelines are met. CPC P-3 implementers include Head Start programs, school districts using general revenues, and state PreK. Community providers have implemented using tuition and child care block grants. Supplementing these funding sources may be needed depending on the number of program elements currently in existence.
Matching funds: Schools, districts, and community partners are encouraged to contribute matching resources and funding in any way that is feasible.
Reallocation of Title I funds: To open and sustain CPC P-3 programs in their schools, school districts can consider reallocating Title I funds for preschool and early school-age services.
Social Impact Bonds: Private-sector social impact investors provide funding to nonprofit or public preschool providers to increase the number of children served. If the measured outcomes from preschool participation meet predetermined goals, then the estimated government cost savings arising from these preschool interventions are used to repay the investors.
Pay for Success: The newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 has provisions for using federal funds to implement Pay for Success initiatives. A Pay for Success initiative is a performance-based grant, contract, or cooperative agreement awarded by a public entity in which a commitment is made to pay for improved outcomes that result in social benefit and direct cost savings or cost avoidance to the public sector.