Skip to content Skip to navigation

Early Childhood Education and Community Schools Linkages Project: Implementation Study

Kristin E. Geiser, Ilana M. Horwitz, and Amy Gerstein
Publication Date: 
October, 2012

The Early Childhood Education and Community Schools Linkage Project is an initiative of the Coalition for Community Schools to demonstrate strategic linkages between Early Childhood Education (ECE) opportunities and community schools that lead to better results for vulnerable children. While the ultimate goal of Linkages was to improve the experiences and outcomes for children and families, the Coalition acknowledges that factors at the setting-level (e.g., school) and the system-level (e.g., district, region, state) shape these individual-level outcomes. The Coalition engaged the Gardner Center as research partner in the initiative. This is the Gardner Center’s final report on the study conducted at nine community school sites across three states. The report documents  new practices and organizational arrangements that sites and regions implemented to improve the capacity of individuals, settings, and systems to facilitate smooth linkages; finds preliminary evidence of positive outcomes at all three levels, with the most significant changes occurring at the setting level; and identifies factors that influenced implementation. The conditions enabling these changes suggest that the values and structures that tend to be prevalent in mature community schools do lend themselves to improving linkages with ECE programs.

Related Researcher(s): 
Policy area: 
Early Childhood (0-8)