NORC and Rainin Foundation Early Childhood Collaboration: Investments to Inform, Support and Evaluate Effective Early Childhood Programing in Oakland

2015 – 2020

​NORC is engaged in a long-term collaboration with the Kenneth Rainin Foundation, whose goals are to improve Oakland-area birth to 3rd grade children’s oral language, literacy, math and social-emotional outcomes and ensure that Oakland is a “city of readers.” Through this partnership, NORC is providing the Foundation with the resources necessary to support its ambitious research, evaluation, and program investment agenda. The collaboration between the Rainin Foundation and NORC supported the establishment of the Early Childhood Research and Practice Collaborative (the Collaborative).

Under the Collaborative, NORC provides the Foundation with expert consultation as needed including quick turn-around, small-scale research and analysis projects, such as a recent scan on existing early childhood leadership development programs across the country. Under the Collaborative, NORC also facilitates researcher-practitioner collaboration by bringing together multiple stakeholders to create common language, identify joint goals, and collectively interpret and apply research findings. Lastly, NORC engages in dissemination activities by preparing research findings in a variety of formats, based on what is most useful for the Foundation.

Under this partnership, NORC has been engaged in the following research and development projects:

  • Oakland Household Survey: An extensive, first-of-its-kind survey of Oakland parents focused on family demographics, child development, parent well-being, technology and communication, and neighborhood engagement
  • School Readiness for Children Ages Birth to 5: A research and literature review focused on the key skills that predict kindergarten readiness and the programs and best practices that have the best impact on kindergarten readiness
  • Effective Practices in K-2 Literacy Instruction: A nationwide literature review of practices that support K-2 reading success, with the aim to uncover effective practices and programs that helped ensure children are reading successfully by third grade
  • Environmental Scan of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) Leadership Development Programs across the U.S.: A scan of leadership development programs in the field of ECE to create a database that includes: names of programs that exist, who they target, who develops and funds these programs, what curricular topics are covered, and whether there is evidence of impact.
  • Evaluation of SEEDS of Early Learning Program: A multi-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial examining the impact of the SEEDS of Early Learning program on teacher and student outcomes in collaboration with Kidango, the largest provider of ECE services in the East Bay of California.

For more information about the partnership with the Rainin Foundation and the research NORC has conducted, see http://krfoundation.orgextlink.

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For more information about the partnership with the Rainin Foundation and the research NORC has conducted, see
http://krfoundation.orgextlink.