Child Development
Empirical Article

Impact of North Carolina's Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School

Kenneth A. Dodge

Corresponding Author

Kenneth A. Dodge

Duke University

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kenneth A. Dodge, Center for Child and Family Policy, Duke Box 90545, Durham, NC 27708-0545. Electronic mail may be sent to dodge@duke.edu.Search for more papers by this author
Yu BaiHelen F. Ladd

Helen F. Ladd

Duke University

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Clara G. Muschkin

Clara G. Muschkin

Duke University

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First published: 17 November 2016
Citations: 39
The authors are grateful to the Smith Richardson Foundation for its financial support to Duke University through the Beyond Test Scores Project. Helen Ladd also thanks the Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
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Abstract

North Carolina's Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other). Student-level regression models with county and year fixed effects indicated significant positive impacts of each program on reading and math test scores and reductions in special education and grade retention in each grade. Effect sizes grew or held steady across years. Positive effects held for both high- and low-poverty families, suggesting spillover of effects to nonparticipating peers.