Low-cost teacher-implemented intervention improves toddlers’ language and math skills

Dorthe Bleses*, Peter Jensen, Pauline Slot, Laura Justice

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The first years of life are foundational for children's cognitive and social–emotional development and to subsequent development in a variety of domains. In many countries, an increasing number of toddlers is enrolled in early childhood education (ECE) programs, which can facilitate early development. However, the quality of these programs is often mediocre. The present study represents a large-scale randomized control trial (87 childcare centers and 1116 toddlers) designed to elevate the quality of instruction in ECE programs serving toddlers. We show that a low-cost 20-week intervention providing teachers with sequence and scope and supportive tools to be more explicit and intentional in their interactions with children resulted in positive, mainly medium- to large-sized effects on targeted language and math skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-76
Number of pages13
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • ECE quality
  • Language, math, and socio-emotional outcomes
  • RCT study
  • School readiness intervention
  • Toddler classrooms


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