Through a competitive process, the CLIO study selected two combined preschool and parenting education curricula,3 each of which were based on the most current research on the development of children’s early literacy skills. CLIO used these curricula in four combinations―two that implemented the combined research‐based preschool and parenting curricula and two that implemented the research‐based preschool curricula in combination with existing parenting education services. The CLIO study used an experimental design in which 120 Even Start projects were randomly assigned to implement one of the four CLIO curricula combinations or to be in a control group that provided their regular pre‐CLIO instructional services (see table ES-1).
The CLIO combined curricula and CLIO preschool curricula were implemented in the sample of Even Start projects during program years 2004‐2005 and 2005‐2006. Implementation included summer training sessions for project directors and teachers in each year, as well as ongoing support for preschool and parenting education staff from the curriculum developers over the 2‐year period.
The CIRCLE group at the University of Texas‐Houston Health Sciences Center teamed with Abrams & Company Publishers to provide the Let’s Begin with the Letter People preschool curriculum to CLIO. Let’s Begin is a preschool curriculum that builds early literacy skills and uses 26 imaginary characters that represent the letters of the alphabet. The CIRCLE group provided the Play and Learning Strategies (PALS) parenting curriculum to CLIO. PALS focuses on responsive parenting and teaches parents techniques to build their children’s language and cognitive development.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provided the Partners for Literacy curriculum to CLIO. The preschool Partners curriculum is based on game‐like activities conducted with pairs of children and instructional strategies designed to support children’s cognitive and language development. The parenting Partners curriculum adapts the game‐like activities and instructional strategies from the preschool curriculum and trains parents to use these with their children at home. The Partners curriculum also includes training in problem‐solving skills for children and parents.