First 10 Blog

Evaluation of the First 10 Pilot


An evaluation brief by the American Institutes for Research® (AIR®) shares findings from the first year of implementation in Michigan communities, including successes and challenges.

The brief outlines the following successes:

  • The First 10 Model Is Designed to Adapt to Local Context.
  • First 10 Pilot Sites Addressed Barriers That Limit Families’ Access to School Readiness Services.
  • Joint Professional Development Increased Collaboration Between Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers.
  • To Facilitate Families’ Transition Into School Systems, First 10 Pilot Sites Enriched Kindergarten Roundup Events.
  • To Foster Children’s School Readiness and Engage Families, First 10 Pilot Sites Implemented School-Connected Play and Learn Groups.
  • Sites Used a Range of Other Strategies to Align Pre-K and Kindergarten Practices.
  • To Raise Awareness About the Importance of Early Learning, First 10 Sites Implemented Parenting Campaigns.
  • The First 10 Pilot Has Helped to Improve Collaboration Among Schools, Early Childhood Programs, and Community Partners, Among Other Positive Outcomes.

An exciting finding was “that First 10 pilot sites addressed barriers that limit families’ access to school readiness services.” These efforts include:

  • organizing play and learn groups in different neighborhoods
  • offering childcare at events
  • providing transportation to some events
  • helping families experiencing homeless find services and resources for their children
  • engaging new community programs and partners
  • staffing events with people from the communities served
  • and more (see page 3 of the brief for more details).

The brief also shares challenges to First 10 implementation. Not surprisingly, time commitment and funding were the two main challenges.

First 10 pilot sites shared lessons learned for future First 10 communities to consider as they start the initiative.

The sites found that First 10 not only helped initiate changes that were long term goals of their communities, but also helped to identify and implement new initiatives to support children’s transition to kindergarten and school success.

Read the evaluation brief