The contents of this guide were developed through SRI International Internal Research and Development funds awarded to SRI Education’s Center for Learning & Development.

The Center for Learning & Development conducts research and evaluations to improve policies and programs for children, youth, and families—from community services and school partnerships to statewide early childhood programs and federal special education and disability policies.

The Early Childhood Program at SRI’s Center for Learning & Development helps policymakers, funders, and practitioners improve the implementation and effectiveness of these programs and policies through its early childhood education research services and products. The program also supports accountability efforts to verify that public and private funds are invested wisely.


The guide was developed by SRI International with essential guidance and input from senior advisors and national experts. SRI gratefully acknowledges the following individuals who contributed to the development of the guide:

SRI International
Wei-Bing Chen
Kirby Chow
Kaycee Ensign
Anne Fikes
Kerry Friedman
Lily Gabaree
Erika Gaylor
Todd Grindal
Tali Klima
Traci Kutaka
Jenna Nguyen
Abby Schachner
Donna Spiker
Michelle Woodbridge
Expert Panel
Rosemarie Allen, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Isabel, Ballivian, ACCA Child Development Center
Karen Bierman, Penn State University
Libby Doggett, U.S. Department of Education
Lise Fox, University of South Florida
Walter Gilliam, Yale University
Mary Louis Hemmeter, Vanderbilt University
Lauren Hogan, NAEYC
Neal Horen, Georgetown University
Deborah Leong, Tools of the Mind
Linda Smith, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Lindsay Usry, ZERO to THREE
Jermall Wright, School District of Philadelphia
Jessica Hardy, University of Louisville

SRI is also grateful to the program administrators and center directors who informed the scope and purpose of the guide and provided invaluable feedback on its usefulness.