Info Papers June 2015

Subject: Feasibility Study on Expanding High-Quality Preschool Access for Department of Defense Overseas Family Members

DEC Issue: In June 2012, the Dependents Education Council (DEC) requested the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to review the feasibility of improving access to preschool for children of overseas military-associated members.

DoDEA Commitment: DoDEA has committed to collaborate with the Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) to study the feasibility of expanding high-quality preschool access for DoD overseas family members. DoDEA was awarded a Personnel and Readiness research and studies project grant to research and provide DoD leadership with information necessary to make decisions regarding universal high-quality preschool for dependents stationed in overseas locations co-located with DoDEA schools. The research grant spans from Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to FY 2015. The Purdue University and the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI), in collaboration with DoDEA and Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense MC&FP, is conducting the Preschool Access Feasibility Study.

Discussion: Purdue University/MFRI have assembled a team of researchers and support staff uniquely qualified to conduct this study, with expertise in military family issues, international contexts, early childhood education, program evaluation, and cost analysis tailored to early childhood program planning. The project start date began in November 2014, and the project is scheduled to run for twelve months. The overall program objective of the feasibility study is to assess the availability of preschool programs at installations outside the continental United States (OCONUS) and synthesize findings to inform future directions for planning preschool access among military families. more...