Providing a quality educational experience, inspired by the Montessori approach, for children farthest from resources.

Providing a quality educational experience, inspired by the Montessori approach, for children farthest from resources.

Research Papers

Mile High Early Learning continues to inform the field of early childhood education through ongoing research and external evaluations of our programs and practices.

In partnership with University of Colorado Denver, we prepared a final report in December 2020 on the impact of our salary increase on teacher retention and turnover. Diana Schaack, PhD and Vi-Nhuan Le, PhD also completed a comparison study of Rocky Mountain SER’s and our salary increase.

Concerns about the well-being and occupational stability of the early care and education workforce have been magnified against the backdrop of COVID-19. The global health crisis has created monumental and immediate shifts in the economy, in the job market, in supports that allow teachers to work, such as the availability of in-person school and child care for their own children, and in feelings about the health and safety of schools and workplaces. It has also monumentally changed the ways in which people interact with one another, and for many, it has challenged their financial and emotional well-being. The purpose of this study is to understand how teachers who work in Head Start and subsidized child care, who provide ECE
services to children in under resourced communities, are faring during the initial stages of the pandemic.

This report from January 2020 focuses on initial outcomes of MHEL’s wage adjustment implemented in 2018. The first part of the report concentrates on teacher stability, retention, and turnover within MHEL and examines whether there were significant changes in turnover compared to a control group as a function of the wage adjustment. The second part of this report focuses exclusively on teachers at MHEL and examines changes in key teacher well-being, organizational climate, and classroom quality indices over the year period since the wage adjustment. The report concludes with key recommendations for supporting teacher retention at MHEL and directions for next steps in the evaluation of MHEL’s retention efforts.

A comprehensive evidence-based evaluation study completed by The Marsico Institute for Early Learning at University of Denver (DU) in 2019 confirmed that Babies Ready for College is creating deep, life-changing impact among FFN caregivers and parents, and demonstrate a strong return on investment. Caregiver Knowledge Survey, created by DU specifically for BRFC, showed gains in knowledge and confidence. Parenting Stress Index data continue to show a significant decrease in caregivers’ stress from pre- to post-program, and data suggest improved caregiver and child well-being.

Mile High Early Learning and Clayton Early Learning implemented Ready to Read, an innovative program designed to increase early literacy skills among low-income children age birth to three in Denver. This program began in center-based sites in 2012 after being selected by Mile High United Way (a Social Innovation Fund recipient) to build the evidence base of promising early literacy interventions. This brief was prepared by the Butler Institute for Families at the University of Denver (Ready to Read’s evaluator from 2013-2017) and provides an overview of those served by six Ready to Read center-based programs, highlighting how they have benefitted families. A separate study was conducted for our Play and Learn groups.

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