Skip to main content

Evidence Based Practices

A variety of resources have been compiled and summarized that demonstrate curriculum effectiveness in order to assist early childhood programs with identifying Evidence-Based Practices (EBP) EBPs are specific practices, programs, interventions, or curricula shown to have positive effects on outcomes through rigorous research. In other words, research shows the practice, program, or intervention has the intended impact.

Read More

Multiple research designs can contribute to EBPs, but some research designs are better suited to address outcomes. Randomized control trials (RCTs) are the most rigorous research design and are ideal for determining intervention or program effectiveness. This design includes a control group and randomization, where participants are randomly assigned to the intervention or control group.

A control group includes only people who do not receive the intervention being evaluated and who are then used as a basis for comparison. In high quality studies, the control group is similar to the intervention group in almost all aspects except receiving the intervention. Using an equivalent control group in a study increases confidence that outcomes in the intervention group are associated with the intervention as opposed to some other unknown or external factor.

Random assignment (randomization) means people are assigned to either the control group or intervention group by chance rather than by choice or other criteria. This process reduces bias and increases confidence that outcomes in the intervention group are due to the intervention.

The effectiveness of an intervention or program must be demonstrated across multiple, replicated studies that utilize rigorous research design and include large, diverse populations. This further increases confidence that the outcomes observed are the result of the intervention and are generalizable in different populations.

Additionally, it is valuable to assess the long-term impact of an intervention, not just immediate outcomes following the intervention or program. Large, longitudinal studies with follow up studies can help show whether significant, positive effects were sustained over time.

Literacy

Numeracy

Social Skills

Family

Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Phonological Awareness Training plus Letter Knowledge Training is a general practice aimed at enhancing young children’s phonological awareness, print awareness, and early reading abilities.

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Muter, V., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., & Stevenson, J. (2004). Phonemes, rimes, vocabulary, and grammatical skills as foundations of early reading development: evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 40(5), 665.

Double, K., McGrane, J., Stiff, J., & Hopfenbeck, T. (2019). The importance of early phonics improvements for predicting later reading comprehension. British Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 1220-1234.

Machin, Stephen J. and McNally, Sandra and Viarengo, Martina, 'Teaching to Teach' Literacy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9955, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2786039

Phonological Awareness Training

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Phonological Awareness Training is a general practice aimed at enhancing young children’s phonological awareness abilities. Phonological awareness refers to the ability to detect or manipulate the sounds in words independent of meaning and is considered a precursor to reading.

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Dialogic Reading

 

Description

Dialogic Reading is an interactive shared picture book reading practice designed to enhance young children’s language and literacy skills.

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Mol, S. E., Bus, A. G., de Jong, M. T., & Smeets, D. J. H. (2008). Added value of dialogic parent-child book readings: A meta-analysis. Early Education and Development, 19(1), 7-26.

Simsek, Z. C. & Erdogan, N. I. (2015) Effects of the dialogic and traditional reading techniques on children's language development. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 197, 754-758.

Doyle, B. G. & Bramwell, W. (2006). Promoting emergent literacy and social–emotional learning through dialogic reading. The Reading Teacher, 59(6), 554-564.

Curiosity Corner

 

Description

Curiosity Corner is a comprehensive cognitive-developmental program designed to develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge necessary for later school success with an emphasis on children’s language and literacy skills.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Evidence for ESSA

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Direct Instruction (DI)

 

Description

Direct Instruction is a teacher-directed program in which specific cognitive and literacy skills are broken down into small units and taught explicitly.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM)

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Early Literacy and Learning Model (ELLM) is a literacy-focused curriculum and support system designed to enhance existing classroom curricula by specifically focusing on improving children's early literacy skills and knowledge.

Contact Information

Sources

Evidence for ESSA

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Literacy Express

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Literacy Express is a preschool curriculum designed for three- to five-year-old children. It is structured around units on oral language, emergent literacy, basic math, science, general knowledge, and socioemotional development.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Evidence for ESSA

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Nuffield Early Language Intervention

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Nuffield Early Language Intervention is a school-based program designed to improve children's vocabulary, narrative skills, active listening, and confidence in independent speaking.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Story Talk – Interactive Book Reading Program

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Story Talk – Interactive Book Reading Program is a reading strategy intended to promote the development of language and literacy skills in young children from low-income families.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Pre-Kindergarten

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum provides 35 weeks of daily lessons, focusing on eight phonemic awareness skills, along with two additional activities to develop letter and sound recognition, and language awareness.

Contact Information

Sources

Muter, V., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., & Stevenson, J. (2004). Phonemes, rimes, vocabulary, and grammatical skills as foundations of early reading development: evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 40(5), 665.

Double, K., McGrane, J., Stiff, J., & Hopfenbeck, T. (2019). The importance of early phonics improvements for predicting later reading comprehension. British Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 1220-1234.

Machin, Stephen J. and McNally, Sandra and Viarengo, Martina, 'Teaching to Teach' Literacy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9955, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2786039

Zoo-phonics

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

The Zoo-phonics Multisensory Language Arts Program is a kinesthetic, multi-modal approach to learning all aspects of language arts, including vocabulary development and articulation, based on phonics and phonemic awareness.

Contact Information

Sources

Muter, V., Hulme, C., Snowling, M. J., & Stevenson, J. (2004). Phonemes, rimes, vocabulary, and grammatical skills as foundations of early reading development: evidence from a longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 40(5), 665.

Double, K., McGrane, J., Stiff, J., & Hopfenbeck, T. (2019). The importance of early phonics improvements for predicting later reading comprehension. British Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 1220-1234.

Machin, Stephen J. and McNally, Sandra and Viarengo, Martina, 'Teaching to Teach' Literacy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9955, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2786039

Doors to Discovery

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Doors to Discover is a preschool literacy curriculum that uses eight thematic units of activities to help children build fundamental early literacy skills in oral language, phonological awareness, concepts of print, alphabet knowledge, writing, and comprehension.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Ready, Set, Leap!

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Ready, Set, Leap! is a comprehensive preschool curriculum that focuses on early reading skills, such as phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, and letter-sound correspondence using multi-sensory technology that incorporates touch, sight, and sound.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Research Based, Developmentally Informed (REDI)

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Research Based, Developmentally Informed (REDI) is a preschool program designed primarily to enhance executive functions and school readiness among disadvantaged students.

Contact Information

Sources

Evidence for ESSA

The Project Approach

 

Description

The Project Approach is a set of teaching strategies that helps teachers guide PreK children through in-depth investigations of real-world topics.

Contact Information

Sources

Evidence for ESSA

Waterford Early Reading Program

Includes Phonological Component
 

Description

Waterford Early Reading is an emergent literacy curriculum that uses computer-based technology to prepare children for reading. It focuses on teaching children their letters, as well as developing phonological and phonemic awareness, story and print concepts, and language concepts.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)


No longer available for purchase

Bright Beginnings

 

Description

Bright Beginnings is an early childhood curriculum, based in part on High/Scope and Creative Curriculum, with an additional emphasis on language and literacy skills

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Exemplary Model of Early Reading Growth and Excellence (EMERGE)

 

Description

Exemplary Model of Early Reading Growth and Excellence (EMERGE) is a literacy-based program designed to help children from low-income families acquire early literacy skills.

Sources

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Let's Begin With The Letter People

 

Description

Let’s Begin with the Letter People is an early literacy approach that emphasizes building language and literacy through play. In addition to literacy, it addresses math, art, music, science, and language.

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Evidence for ESSA

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)


No Effects

Building Early Language and Literacy (BELL)

Includes Phonological Component
   
 

Description

Building Early Language and Literacy (BELL) is a supplementary program aimed at promoting preschoolers’ general language proficiency, phonological awareness, shared reading skills, and print knowledge

Contact Information

Sources

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Creative Curriculum

   
 

Description

Creative Curriculum is a comprehensive approach to education for 3- to 5-year-old children. The curriculum addresses four areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Ladders to Literacy

Includes Phonological Component
   
 

Description

Ladders to Literacy is a supplementary early literacy and language development curriculum for preschool and kindergarten children.

Contact Information

Sources

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Language-Focused Curriculum

   
 

Description

Language-Focused Curriculum was developed at the for use with 3- to 5-year-old children with language limitations, including children with language impairment; children from disadvantaged backgrounds; and English-language learners.

Contact Information

Sources

Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)

Building Blocks for Math

 

Description

Building Blocks for Math is a supplemental mathematics curriculum designed to develop preschool children’s early mathematical knowledge through various individual and small- and large-group activities.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Pre-K Mathematics

 

Description

Pre-K Mathematics is a supplemental curriculum designed to develop informal mathematical knowledge and skills in preschool children.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Social Skills Training

 

Description

Social skills training is not a specific curriculum, but rather a collection of practices that utilize a behavioral approach to teaching preschool children age-appropriate social skills and competencies, including communication, problem solving, decision making, self-management, and peer relations.

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse

Denham, S. A., Bassett, H. H., Brown, C., Way, E., & Steed, J. (2015). “I Know How You Feel”: Preschoolers’ emotion knowledge contributes to early school success. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 13(3), 252-262

Voltmer, K. & von Salisch, M. (2017). Three meta-analyses of children's emotion knowledge and their school success. Learning and Individual Differences, 59, 107-118.

Torres, M. M., Domitrovich, C. E., & Bierman, K. L. (2015). Preschool interpersonal relationships predict kindergarten achievement: Mediated by gains in emotion knowledge. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 39, 44-52.

ParentCorps

 

Description

ParentCorps is an early childhood, family-centered, school-based intervention for children and their families living in historically disinvested neighborhoods. The universal program targets children in pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) and is designed to help parents and teachers create safe, nurturing, and predictable environments for young children. ParentCorps is delivered as an enhancement to pre-K programs.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Crime Solutions

Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices

 

Description

Al’s Pals: Kids Making Healthy Choices is an early childhood, resiliency-based curriculum designed to increase the protective factor of social and emotional competence in young children and to decrease the risk factor of early and persistent aggression or antisocial behavior.

Contact Information

Sources

Crime Solutions

Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Training: Competent Learners Achieving School Success (BEST in CLASS)

 

Description

Behavioral, Emotional, and Social Training: Competent Learners Achieving School Success (BEST in CLASS) is a classroom-based intervention, delivered by teachers, which is designed to prevent emotional and behavioral disorders (EBDs). The goal of the program is to reduce chronic problem behaviors and improve interactions and relationships between teachers and children.

Contact Information

Sources

Crime Solutions

Incredible Years - Teacher Classroom Management

 

Description

Incredible Years - Teacher Classroom Management is a preschool-based program designed to strengthen teachers’ classroom-management strategies and develop children’s social and problem-solving skills.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Crime Solutions

PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) Curriculum

 

Description

PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) Curriculum is a comprehensive social-emotional learning program designed to reduce aggression and behavior problems and to increase emotional and social competencies in preschool and elementary school-aged children.

Contact Information

Sources

California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC)

Crime Solutions

Red Light, Purple Light!: A Self-Regulation Intervention

 

Description

Red Light, Purple Light!: A Self-Regulation Intervention is a preschool-based program intended to improve behavioral aspects of self-regulation in children through circle time games that target attention, working memory, and inhibitory control.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

Tools of the Mind

 

Description

Tools of the Mind is an early childhood program designed to promote academic learning and prosocial behaviors by supporting the development of executive function and other regulation-related skills.

Contact Information

Sources

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development (BHYD)

The Incredible Years

 

Description

The Incredible Years is composed of training programs for children, parents, and teachers. The child program is designed for children (ages 0–12) with challenging behaviors and focuses on building social and emotional skills. Lessons can be delivered to children referred for difficult behavior or to an entire classroom as a preventative measure.

Contact Information

Sources

IES What Works Clearinghouse


The following did not include research for PreK-aged children in the EBP resource rating:

Second Step - Social-Emotional Learning Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness (ESSA)

More Information:

Evidence Based Resources

Challenges in EBP Ratings

⭐ Rating Descriptions

X

Well Supported by Research ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Research included:

  • Multiple, rigorous RCT studies
  • Multiple replication and follow up studies
  • Positive, sustained effects over a period of time (such as one year or longer)
  • Studies reported in published, peer-reviewed literature
X

Supported by Research ⭐ ⭐

Research included:

  • At least one or a small number of rigorous RCT studies. However, some of the studies:
  • May have exhibited research design weaknesses and/or they needed to be replicated to confirm the initial findings
  • Positive, sustained effects over a short period of time (such as 6 months or less)
  • Studies reported in published, peer-reviewed literature
X

Supported EBP Practice with ECBG Evidence ⭐ ⭐

  • Practice supported by research
  • Early Childhood Block Grant (ECBG) data supports positive effects of the intervention
X

Emerging Research ⭐

Research included:

  • At least one study utilized some form of control group
  • In some cases, the study(ies) may have exhibited research design weaknesses
  • There may have been positive, mixed, or no effects found
  • Studies reported in published, peer-reviewed literature
X

Includes Phonological Component

The curriculum includes a phonological or phonemic awareness component.