The Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC) is an ongoing research study aimed at studying programs that will decrease the achievement gap. The goal of CHECC is to intervene as early as possible to generate effects that are as great as possible.

About the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center:

In 2009, Professor List, together with world-renowned scholars at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, was awarded a $10M grant from the Griffin Foundation to launch the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC), one of the most comprehensive longitudinal early childhood studies ever conducted. With nearly 1,500 child participants, CHECC aimed to identify programs and strategies for improving student education in America’s schools and to try to understand how to best foster development during the early years of a child’s life and to place children on a successful path. CHECC has proved to be wildly successful, with test scores of children participating showing improvement. The 2011-2012 mid-year assessment scores revealed an impressive 16.75% percentile increase from 2010 fall assessment scores. Children entering the program often test below average (35.5-percentile), but by the mid-year assessment of the second year, the majority of children are scoring at average (50-percentile), priming them for kindergarten and further educational attainment.

While the preschool was a key component to this initiative, Professor List and his team also established a Parent Academy, a program that paid parents a stipend of up to $7,000 per year to attend bi-weekly workshops with their children and learn about parenting strategies. Findings from their randomized evaluation reveal that incentives to parents lead to large gains in achievement and that preschool programs may result in sustained positive impacts on achievement. Now, we continue to track CHECC graduates’ progress.

“The CHECC results not only allow us to provide quality early childhood education but also help inform us about how to most effectively develop early childhood programs. We are excited to move forward as we continue to provide the Chicago Heights community quality early childhood programming.”

Dr. Anya Samak

Research Director at CHECC

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Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center: Early Results from a Field Experiment on the Temporal Allocation of Schooling