A recent study conducted by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, in collaboration with Acelero Learning, found that Head Start infants, toddlers and preschoolers in Acelero programs made significant gains during the 2020-2021 school year despite the pandemic. These findings are especially compelling given reports of the disastrous effects of the pandemic on childhood education nationally.
The Brown University-Annenberg study is one of the first to assess early skill development during the pandemic. According to Susanna Loeb, Director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, “Given the unique circumstances of this past year, understanding students’ progress is unusually important for serving families and it will be supremely helpful in determining how to approach future instruction. Acelero’s results cannot be generalized across the field of early childhood education, but it is notable that across age groups and both learning settings [virtual and in-person], Acelero’s students made significant gains in domains of print knowledge and numeracy, and children in centers also made significant gains in executive function.”
The study evaluated children ages six weeks to four years who were enrolled in both in-person and virtual learning models in Acelero Learning Head Start programs, located in Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The study found that three- and four-year-old students in both learning settings, made significant gains in the domains of print knowledge and numeracy, during the pandemic. The study also found that infants and toddlers made significant gains across both learning settings in language development.