Our Research, Results and Improvement | Kidango
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SEEDS Results

Kidango is committed to evaluating the impacts of our programs to ensure a high-quality service that fully prepares children for Kindergarten. We work internally as well as with external partners to analyze the effects of our programs, enabling a process of continuous quality improvement.

NORC Results

NORC at the University of Chicago

In 2017, the non-partisan and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago began a rigorous three year evaluation of the impact SEEDS has on children’s language and literacy skills at Kidango. Funded by the Rainin Foundation in Oakland, this study will help us better understand how SEEDS works, and most importantly, how big an impact it has on children’s learning.


In 2020, due to the pandemic, NORC decided to release the study’s Year 2 results because Year 3 was disrupted.  Usually it takes time for a program like SEEDS to work, which is why the study was for three years.  But Year 2 results were so strong, releasing them early was an easy decision.

The results for Year 2 show dramatic growth and statistically significant impacts in children’s language and literacy skills. The assessment tool that was used is called the Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs). Developed by the University of Minnesota, the IGDIs are based on scientific research and measure critical language and literacy skills that are important for language proficiency in the 3rd grade and later. The IGDIs were designed to help teachers, parents and others with valid, reliable data on children’s growth and development. 

Specifically, the IGDIs focus on a set of 5 early reading measures:

  • Vocabulary (Picture Naming / Oral Language)
  • Rhyming (Phonological Awareness)
  • Sound Identification (Letter Sounds / Alphabet Knowledge)
  • Letter Naming (Reading)
  • Alliteration (Phonological Awareness)

NORC’s study reveals how benefits for children in Kidango’s SEEDS program are of a magnitude similar to up to 8 months of early childhood growth::



As the figure shows, the overall impact of the SEEDs program is equivalent to almost 6 months of additional learning


We can use the effects of those programs, as calculated by scientific studies, to compare the learning benefits for children across similar skills:





Boston: Weiland, Christina, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa. 2013. “Impacts of a Prekindergarten Program on Children’s Mathematics, Language, Literacy, Executive Function, and Emotional Skills.” Child Development 84 (6): 2112–30.
Georgia: Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S., Jennifer M. Schaaf, Doré R. LaForett, Lisa M. Hildebrandt, and John Sideris. 2014. “Effects of Georgia’s Pre‐K Program on Children’s School Readiness Skills: Findings from the 2012–2013 Evaluation Study.” Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, Frank North Carolina: Porter Graham Child Development Institute. http://fpg.unc.edu/sites/fpg.unc.edu/files/resources/reports-and-policy-briefs/GAPreKEval_RDDReport%203-4-2014.pdf.
Head Start: Puma, M., Bell, S., Cook, R., Heid, C., & Lopez, M. (2005). Head Start impact study: First year findings. Administration for Children & Families.
North Carolina: Peisner-Feinberg, Ellen S., and Jennifer M. Schaaf. 2011. “Summary of Key Findings Effects of the North Carolina More at Four Pre-Kindergarten Program on Children’s School Readiness Skills.” Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. http://fpg.unc.edu/sites/fpg.unc.edu/files/resources/reports-and-policy-briefs/MAF_Yr9_key_findings.pdf.
Tennessee: Lipsey, M. W., Farran, D. C., Bilbrey, C., Hofer, K. G., & Dong, N. (2011). Initial results of the evaluation of the Tennessee Voluntary Pre-K Program. Nashville, TN: Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University.
Tulsa: Gormley, William T., Deborah Phillips, and Ted Gayer. 2008. “Preschool Programs Can Boost School Readiness.” CROCUS Working Paper No. 12. Washington, DC: Georgetown University. https://georgetown.app.box.com/s/fpq610v9n7iaqifvmquf.
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