Strong Foundations For Our Youngest Children

Early Learning Challenge Evaluations

New Report: Illinois Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge 2016 Evaluation Report

BUILD Initiative recently conducted an evaluation of the Illinois Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC). The 2016 Evaluation Report informs Illinois stakeholders about the continued implementation of the initiative, and helps drive the state’s future early care and education policy and programming. 

BUILD Initiative contracted with Education Development Center to conduct an external evaluation of the outcomes of the grant implementation. Evaluators, skilled in qualitative and quantitative evaluations of early childhood initiatives, performed data collection, analysis, and reporting activities between September and December 2016. 

Illinois has made substantial progress for young children through the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant. Federal dollars have been critical to Illinois’ ability to provide children with high need access to quality early care and education and to promote quality and accountability though its QRIS. In addition, the grant helped the state develop the infrastructure necessary to continue to expand and improve its early childhood system.
BUILD is committed to documenting and analyzing outcomes of the Early Learning Challenge. Rarely has the early childhood field had such an investment across so many states to systemically advance outcomes for our youngest children, especially those with the highest need. This brief is one example of how BUILD has been helping states mine the rich data and implementation knowledge that comes from the funded work. BUILD has identified trends, promising practices and innovations to share with all 50 states. See also BUILD’s E-Book on the Early Learning Challenge and a brief on Washington State’s ELC work here.