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A Word from Our Interim Executive Director

Lab News

“…being results-driven is not the same as being measurement-driven. Caring deeply about impact is not the same as developing clarity as a field on how to measure impact.”

I was struck by this line about the need for better program measurement practices in a recent blog about a new parent empowerment in education resource that New Profit launched.

There are so many questions in the early childhood field about what should be measured and how to measure it: should we be looking at child outcomes or parent/caregiver outcomes? Should we use observational instruments or self-report? When is a program ready for evaluation? And how can we incorporate rapid-cycle learning for program improvement? It doesn’t help that these questions are often answered in silos, by individual organizations working in a vacuum.

That’s why I am excited about a project we’ve been involved in over the past year, working with four organizations using mobile messaging to support the parents and caregivers of children 0-5. We’re working alongside two of their funders to build a learning community, sharing best practices, and collaborating on an upcoming research project that we hope will build the evidence base for mobile messaging as a strategy that can help develop the skills and mindsets in adults that can support child outcomes.

Most of all, it is gratifying to see these organizations come together in the spirit of learning together and sharing these learnings with the wider field. Be on the lookout for more information about the project in the coming months.

We’ve also been busy reflecting on what we have learned in our first three years as an innovation lab, and we have seen a surge of interest in our Parent Innovation Institute program, presenting on its potential to “unlock the power of parents” at the LEGO Idea Conference in Denmark, and partnering with the Global Family Research Project to publish a report and host a webinar on the use of co-design to strengthen family engagement.

And we’ve had our heads down continuing to develop and pilot our QuickCheck® teacher professional development tool in a school district in San Jose, which we will discuss (along with a bunch of other tech tools) on our upcoming Teaching & Technology webinar on May 8. Hope you can join us!