Evaluation of the Jumpstart Preschool Program Curriculum Revision Pilot

Richmond B Carlton, Fordham University


A crucial aspect of early-life experience that has received increasing research and policy attention is the development and promotion of social and emotional learning and related skills (Bierman & Motamedi, 2015; Jones & Kahn, 2017; Yoshikawa et al., 2013). Research shows that children learn better when they have better social-emotional skills (Jones & Kahn, 2017), and that academic and social-emotional development are linked (Rose et al., 2018; Rosewater & Meyers, 2016; Seidenfeld et al., 2014). One program that seeks to enhance both of these skills is Jumpstart. This nation-wide program targets at-risk preschool children for intervention by providing supplemental services in preschool classrooms in underserved neighborhoods with the goal of aiding in children’s successful transition between preschool and kindergarten (Jumpstart, 2015). Since 2018, Jumpstart has begun to implement a new Curriculum Revision Pilot to directly target children’s social-emotional skills, in addition to a continued focus on oral language outcomes (Jumpstart, 2015; Jumpstart, 2019). The present study used a quasi-experimental design to evaluate the effectiveness of the redesigned curriculum on social-emotional and academic outcomes. The hypothesis was that children who received the Jumpstart program would show greater improvement over one school year in social-emotional and academic outcomes compared to children who did not receive the Jumpstart program. Direct assessment of academic and social-emotional skills, including executive functioning, impulse control, positive emotion, and emotion knowledge was conducted using a sample of 122 children from 11 urban classrooms (31% Black, 23% Hispanic). Results showed that while Jumpstart continued to positively influence children’s academic outcomes, there were no significant effects on social-emotional outcomes. The results suggest that a closer look at other factors, such as quality of implementation and classroom environment, are needed to further examine this program’s full effects on child outcomes. Considering the vast number of children served by this program, it is important to understand how to achieve the best outcomes possible for this underserved population.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Early childhood education|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Carlton, Richmond B, "Evaluation of the Jumpstart Preschool Program Curriculum Revision Pilot" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28265402.