Program evaluation: What is it and how do I know if it is working?

These questions cross the mind of almost every person involved in the evaluation process. Whether it is a family filling out a survey or a teacher logging assessment results, the questions of what am I doing? and why? are very common. In fact, the Early childhood program evaluations: A decision-makers guide (presented in this modules Learning Resources), places the question, Does it work? at the root of all program evaluations. Their research indicates that no matter the evaluation form, the focus of what is to be evaluated and whether the program is succeeding at it will prove to be at the forefront of all evaluation discussions, decisions, and stakeholder communications.
In this Discussion, you explore the many forms of and approaches for evaluating a program. You also consider how evaluation provides early childhood programs with meaningful information on program quality.
To prepare
Review the Early childhood program evaluations: A decision-makers guide,
https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/early-childhood-program-evaluations-a-decision-makers-guide/
 reflecting on the question, Does it work? Then, explore the measurement tools overview provided by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement to identify the many forms of and approaches for effectively evaluating program quality.

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