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Can Personalized Text Messages Help Parents Complete the Early Childhood OneApp Process?

Lindsay Weixler and Alica Gerry

Date & Time
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
1:30–2:30 pm
Agenda for Children
8300 Earhart Blvd., Suite 201

Research Team: Daph­na Bas­sok and Justin Doro­mal, ​University of Virginia; Jon Valant, ​Brookings InstitutionPlease note that this brown bag will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednes­day, Sept. 26, at Agen­da for Chil­dren on Earhart Blvd. This is a depar­ture from our usu­al time and place. Stud­ies show that ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion (ECE) is an effec­tive way to pre­pare chil­dren for kinder­garten. How­ev­er, par­ents may strug­gle to enroll their chil­dren in ECE pro­grams if they face admin­is­tra­tive bar­ri­ers. Com­pli­cat­ed and bur­den­some appli­ca­tion process­es can pre­vent par­ents from com­plet­ing ECE appli­ca­tions. In fact, research on col­lege access has shown that reduc­ing admin­is­tra­tive bar­ri­ers and sup­port­ing fam­i­lies through the process can increase low-income stu­dents’ rates of appli­ca­tion and enroll­ment. In this brown bag, we present ini­tial results of a study that exam­ines the effec­tive­ness of text-mes­sage sup­port for par­ents dur­ing the 2018 – 19 ECE appli­ca­tion and enroll­ment cycle. Specif­i­cal­ly, we ask: (1) Do per­son­al­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tion strate­gies increase the per­cent­age of par­ents com­plet­ing the appli­ca­tion process? (2) Are there some appli­cants who ben­e­fit more than oth­ers from per­son­al­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tion? (3) What can we learn from appli­cants’ respons­es to bet­ter under­stand their per­cep­tions of the process and the bar­ri­ers they may face?

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