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Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Cross-System Evaluation

Teacher is playing with cheerful children at kindergarten
A first-of-its-kind evaluation to maximize the effectiveness of TTA provided to early childhood grantees
  • Client
    Office of Head Start and Office of Child Care in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Dates
    September 2015 - September 2022


The federal government wanted to deliver more responsive training TTA across a complex, multi-tiered system supporting early childhood programs administered by states, localities, territories, and tribes. 

The Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC) provide training and technical assistance to thousands of early childhood grantees throughout the country, including states, territories, and tribal nations, that serve millions of children and families each year.


NORC conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the TTA delivered by system providers to grantees.

Knowing there was room for improvement, OHS and OCC asked NORC to help them evaluate the early childhood TTA system. Our researchers conducted large and small-scale studies to examine multiple facets of TTA, learning what works and what could be improved. More than that, NORC’s team members became trusted partners, meeting with leadership at least weekly for almost seven years.

The long-term duration of this project allowed our team to develop a deep understanding of the TTA system, which progressively guided our inquiries and enriched our findings. We built on existing knowledge and resources in the literature, consulted with ACF and its TTA partners, and then identified gaps in understanding. Upon completing multiple evaluation activities, we shared our insights and translated the research findings for practical application. 


New and actionable insights are improving training and technical assistance. 

NORC shared insights with ACF about the processes, services, and effectiveness of the TTA system and promoted the use of data and evaluation tools to improve TTA services among system partners. Information from the project is being used for ongoing improvement across the TTA system and is informing a broader learning agenda.

Learn More About the Project

For more information about the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Cross-System Evaluation Project, visit the website of the Administration for Children & Families (ACF).

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