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NORC-Rainin Foundation Early Childhood Collaboration

A group of children sitting in a classroom look at a tablet
Supporting programs to improve the education of Oakland children from birth to third grade
  • Client
    Kenneth Rainin Foundation
  • Dates
    2015 - 2020


The Rainin Foundation needed multi-pronged support for its efforts to help young children reach their potential. 

Less than half of all students in Oakland, CA, are reading at grade level. Many also need help with oral language, math, and social-emotional issues. The Kenneth Rainin Foundation aims to help Oakland-area children from birth to third grade in all these areas.


Rainin and NORC established the Early Childhood Research and Practice Collaborative.

Rainin and NORC established the ongoing Early Childhood Research & Practice Collaborative in 2015, under which NORC provided expert consultation across a spectrum of projects, including quick turnaround, small-scale research and analysis, such as a recent scan on existing early childhood leadership development programs for teachers across the country. NORC also facilitated researcher-practitioner collaboration by bringing together multiple stakeholders to create a common language, identify joint goals, and collectively interpret and apply research findings.


As part of the Collaborative, NORC engaged in several research and development projects:

  • Oakland Household Survey: An extensive, first-of-its-kind survey of Oakland parents focused on family demographics, child development, parent well-being, technology and communication, and neighborhood engagement.
  • School Readiness for Children Ages Birth to 5: A research and literature review focused on the key skills that predict kindergarten readiness and the programs and best practices that have the greatest impact on kindergarten readiness.
  • Effective Practices in K-2 Literacy Instruction: A nationwide literature review of practices that support K-2 reading success to uncover effective practices and programs that helped children read successfully by third grade.
  • Environmental Scan of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECE) Leadership Development Programs across the U.S.: A scan of leadership development programs in the field of ECE to create a database that includes names of programs that exist, who they target, who develops and funds these programs, what curricular topics are covered, and whether there is evidence of impact.
  • Evaluation of SEEDS of Early Learning Program: A multi-year, cluster-randomized controlled trial examining the impact of the SEEDS of Early Learning program on teacher and student outcomes in collaboration with Kidango, the largest provider of ECE services in the East Bay of California.

Learn More About the Study

For more information about the partnership with the Rainin Foundation and the research NORC conducted.

Project Leads

Explore NORC Education Projects

2023 American Law School Faculty Study

Reviewing law school policies and understanding the career pathways of law school teaching faculty


Association of American Law Schools

2024 National Survey of Early Care and Education

Examining early care and education after major disruption


Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services