The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-11 (ECLS-K:2011) will be an ongoing study sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. In addition, the study will benefit from its partnership with and sponsorship by several additional federal agencies. The study is also endorsed by many professional organizations in the area of education.
The children in the ECLS-K:2011 will comprise a nationally representative sample selected from both public and private schools attending both full-day and part-day kindergarten in 2010-2011. They will come from diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Also participating in the study will be the children's parents, teachers, schools, and before- and after-school care providers. The ECLS-K:2011 will be a voluntary study; no one selected for the study will be required to respond to the questionnaires or to participate in the assessments. The information participants choose to provide is and will be kept confidential. All responses that relate to or describe identifiable characteristics of individuals are used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed, or used, in identifiable form for any other purpose, unless compelled by law.
Children, their families, teachers, schools, and care providers will provide information on children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. There will also be information on children's home environment, home educational activities, school environment, classroom environment, classroom curriculum, teacher qualifications, and before- and after-school care.
The ECLS-K:2011 is designed as a longitudinal study, with the same children followed from kindergarten through the fifth grade. As currently planned, information will be collected in the fall and the spring of kindergarten (2010-2011), the fall and spring of 1st grade (2011-2012), the spring of 2nd grade (2013), the spring of 3rd grade (2014), the spring of 4th grade (2015), and the spring of 5th grade (2016). Prior to the collection of the ECLS-K:2011 participant data in 2010-2011, a field test will be conducted to gather information from children and their teachers to inform the development of new survey items.
The ECLS-K:2011 includes a nationally representative sample of kindergartners. Information is collected from across the U.S. from children, their families, their teachers, their schools, and their before- and after-school care providers.
The ECLS-K:2011 is designed to provide comprehensive and reliable data that can be used to describe and to better understand children’s development and experiences in the elementary grades, and how children’s early experiences relate to their later development, learning, and experiences in school. The data collected over the years will allow researchers, policymakers, and educators to study how various student, home, classroom, school, and community factors at various points in the child’s life relate to cognitive, social, and emotional development.
Trained field staff will assess children in their schools and collect information from parents over the telephone. Teachers and school administrators will be contacted in their schools and asked to complete questionnaires. Before- and after-school care providers will also be interviewed about both their care settings and their care of the ECLS-K:2011 children.