HighScope

Local governments can invest in this strategy using State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
  • This strategy can help address educational disparities, which the U.S. Department of Treasury has designated as an eligible use of SLFRF funds.
  • Investments in this strategy are SLFRF-eligible as long as they are made in qualified census tracts or are designed to assist populations or communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Program basics

  • Play-based, child-centered early education curriculum
  • Instruction emphasizes active learning and focuses on a range of school readiness skills
  • Half-day program includes a weekly home visiting component
  • Average child-teacher ratio of 6:1
  • Includes monthly small-group meetings of parents

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the highest level of evidence by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute of Justice; the second-highest level of evidence by Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, Social Programs That Work


Target population

Preschool-aged children

Program cost

Not available

Implementation locations

  • Nationwide
  • Ypsilanti, MI

Dates active

1962–present

Outcomes and impact

  • Increased long-term academic achievement
  • Reduced long-term engagement in risky behavior
  • Increased long-term employment and earnings
  • Yielded $6.60 in social benefit for every dollar invested

Keys to successful implementation

  • Note: This content is under review
  • Implementation and learning practices are based on cognitive-development theories, which inform active participatory learning techniques.
  • HighScope can be adapted to work in congruence with a state’s educational curriculum requirements, allowing for better educational quality and compliance.
  • Partnerships with schools and buy-in from teachers are essential for curriculum success. Staff and teacher training is essential in ensuring that curriculum is delivered with fidelity.
  • Parent participation (through in-class interactions and workshops) is essential to extend the learning environment to the home.
  • Frequent program assessments ensure that curriculum is delivered as intended and achieving best possible results.

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