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In implementing broad community initiatives, the ability to assess the delivery of services is a distinct challenge. Yet, understanding both the magnitude and cross-usage of services by target populations is often a precursor to effective program evaluation, program improvement and additional program planning. This research examines the extent to which a comprehensive early childhood initiative successfully reached young children and their families in a large urban county. By linking birth records and administrative datasets at the level of the individual child, the study tracks the experiences of children in respect to engagement in program services and their receipt of public benefits. The study shows both the rapid growth in programs and the reach of the program elements to the majority of newborns in the target county after 5.5 years. The research highlights the challenges of effectively using individual-level data from a variety of sources for the purposes of documenting program receipt by participants.
administrative data, matching, program scale, early childhood
Evaluation and Program Planning
© 2008 Elsevier Ltd.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
Robert L. Fischer, Nina Lalich, Claudia Coulton. Taking it to scale: Evaluating the scope and reach of a community-wide initiative on early childhood. Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 2, 2008, 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2007.12.002