Preschool-to-Third Grade Programs and Practices: A Review of Research
UW-Madison School Of Social Work

The preschool-to-third grade perspective has helped the early childhood field move away from a reliance on relatively brief or one-shot programs toward more systematic and comprehensive models that span most of children’s first decade. We review the knowledge base on the effectiveness of preschool-to-third grade intervention programs and practices for young children making the transition to school. Our coverage includes extended early childhood interventions, preschool programs, full-day kindergarten, reduced class sizes in the early grades, parent involvement, instructional practices, and school transitions (mobility). We distinguish between two major PK-3 strategies. PK-3 programs are planned interventions that begin during any of the five years of a child’s life before kindergarten and which continue up to third grade. The most comprehensive programs include all these elements, and serve children from low-income families or who have special needs