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Early Childhood Research Findings in the News

September 6, 2023

Early Childhood Research Findings in the News

Students picking out pots and plants

Research findings from the Early Childhood Education Institute (ECEI), a program of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, on the OU-Tulsa campus have received some exciting recognition lately in the education press. The Hechinger Report and Early Learning Nation, two prominent national education publications, have covered the findings of a study ECEI conducted over the last several years in conjunction with Educare, a high-quality early learning program in Tulsa.

“For decades, researchers have debated the long-term impact of early childhood education, sharing evidence that while some children experience positive long-term outcomes, others see initial benefits fade out — or even experience detrimental outcomes,” opens the article by Jackie Mader from The Hechinger Report. “Now, a new study is adding to a growing body of research indicating that high-quality early care and learning programs can positively impact children for years into the future. But there is one caveat: Children need to be enrolled early, in infancy or early toddlerhood, to reap these benefits.”

Early Learning Nation headline on infant study

This important study was carried out, beginning in 2010, by the ECEI. The researchers followed a cohort of 37 children who were enrolled in Tulsa Educare and a control group of 38 who did not get spots in Educare and were cared for by a variety of different methods. 

“This intensive, long-term research is important as we seek to better understand how children learn and develop,” says Diane Horm, Ph.D., the founding director of ECEI and a George Kaiser Family Foundation Endowed Chair of Early Childhood Education at OU-Tulsa. “It is also important that we effectively communicate the findings to a wide variety of audiences – because the research findings have implications for families, educators, researchers, and policy makers.”



Click below if you’d like to read the full articles.

The lasting benefits of high-quality child care – Hechinger Report Link:

“Gold Standard” Study Finds High-Quality Care is Important in Infancy – Early Learning Nation Link: