Boise State’s College of Education continues its efforts to bolster early childhood care and education programs in Idaho with an emphasis on school preparation and literacy. Through a three-year, $18 million federal grant, Assistant Professor Carl Siebert will lead the evaluation process of the project in partnership with the Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC) and the State Board of Education (SBOE).
The Department of Health and Human Services Preschool Development Grant will allow the Idaho AEYC and the SBOE to work with community partners to continue developing a robust early child care and education delivery system in Idaho for parents of children age birth to five. It also supports the development of education priorities set by Idaho Gov. Brad Little and the SBOE, both of which have set a goal of ensuring grade-level reading ability for every child in Idaho by the end of third grade. Increasing access to high-quality, affordable early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs for Idaho families in both rural and urban communities is crucial in this effort.
“We are thrilled to be involved in this important collaborative effort to ensure all of Idaho’s young children have access and opportunities to early education,” said Jennifer Snow, College of Education interim dean.
The work funded by the grant is aimed at developing targeted programs that best meet the needs of local communities. For example, recommendations could include early child education programs specifically geared to parents in a given community, or may provide professional development to local childcare providers to help them deliver high-quality literacy development activities geared toward the populations they serve.
Siebert will direct and conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the partnership’s strategic plan and assess the level of impact the project has on early child care and education in Idaho. Siebert is the director for the Program Evaluation and Research Lab in the College of Education, where research and evaluation at the local, state and national level is conducted. The university is supporting Siebert’s work on the grant by providing funding for Tableau, a state-of-the-art software data management system to assist with analysis and reporting for the project.
“I’m very excited about this project,” Siebert said. “We have an opportunity to make a huge difference in Idaho with regard to early child care and education. The benefits experienced by the children in Idaho will be felt for many years to come and make a recognizable difference in all of Idaho.”