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Chicago Early/Head Start Research Agenda

The Chicago Early/Head Start Research Agenda sets a path for strengthening early childhood programs in Chicago through research- and community-driven policies.

We are setting a path for expanding and improving early learning and care programs and services in Chicago through research- and community-driven policies. Through this Chicago-focused Early/Head Start Research Agenda, we hope to:

  • Elevate the voices and priorities of the communities that we serve
  • Partner with staff internally at Start Early through Research Practice Partnerships to support data needs and practices, and externally with teachers, parents, and community partners through field facing projects to support program progress
  • Drive collaboration by revamping and reinforcing the ways that Start Early’s local, state and national efforts align

Key Components

Through connecting with Early/Head Start program staff and parents to learn about their areas of interest to help support Early/Head Start programs in Chicago, three priorities emerged that create the backbone for the Chicago Early/Head Start Research Agenda:

  • Advancing recruitment and enrollment practices for Early/Head Start programs
  • Exploring additional ways to support the Early/Head Start workforce
  • Improving inclusion and equity in classrooms

This research agenda is a living document. There are potential research questions proposed that fit into the three categories above, but we are committed to connect with staff and parents in Early/Head Start programs throughout the development, implementation, and interpretation phases of projects that emerge from this work. We will use their expertise to guide research questions and priorities.

We are interested in connecting with partners and funders currently doing or interested in doing similar work. Together we will learn from staff and families to make improvements to early childhood education and care for everyone!

Research & Evaluation Team & Collaborators

The Educare Research Agenda on Advancing Racial Equity

The Educare Research Agenda on Advancing Racial Equity is connected to the Chicago Early Head Start Agenda through our shared commitment to improving equity in practice and policy for Early Head Start and Head Start programs. As teams, we are looking to collaborate on research projects, specifically focused in Chicago, that are informed by family and staff voice to lead to actionable change in early childhood care and education.

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