Evaluation and Results


FamilySpace Evaluation Showcase!


Families and partners in our FamilySpace program celebrated the completion of their Participatory Evaluation Development process at an “Evaluation Showcase” event on April 25, 2024, at ThirdSpace Reading Room in Cleveland. As a part of the innovative FamilySpace model, Family Advisory Committees created tools and evaluation plans to gather and analyze data on families’ experience in the program to inform the work.

 Under the theme of “the excitement is building!” capturing both the fun of creating the tools and the anticipation of the rollout of the plans, program families and partners visited a trifold for each of four library sites and gave comments and feedback on each of the proposed plans. (Some sticky note comments landed other places, too!) Attendees collected a “tool” from each of the four stations for their “toolboxes” as they left their notes and redeemed them for new FamilySpace swag – tote bags and bubbles – at the end of the event.

Beyond the revealing of plans and thoughtful comments for the FACs to use, attendees enjoyed dinner, hardhats and toolbelts, construction-themed toys, and meeting other FamilySpace families and supporters. Invest in Children would like to thank the FamilySpace families, staff, and partners for their incredible support of this work! 


Click here to check out all the pictures from this event. 





Invest in Children programs are evaluated using both internal and external evaluation processes, including the expert evaluation work of Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development.

Key Highlights from Recent Program Evaluations


Parents as Teachers Program

Evaluating Parent-Child Interactions and the Implementation of the PICCOLO Assessment:  This report describes results from two studies of Parents As Teachers (PAT) use of the Parenting Interactions with Children: Checklist of Observations Linked to Outcomes (PICCOLO assessment). The first is an evaluation of participants’ parenting skills as measured by the PICCOLO, and the second study examines Parent Educators’ experience implementing the PICCOLO one year after it was first added as a PAT assessment.


Universal Pre-kindergarten Program

A recent evaluation of children attending kindergarten in urban and inner-ring public school districts in Cuyahoga County documented the the benefits of participation in Cuyahoga County’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program compared to high quality, non-UPK preschool. A couple of key highlights include:

  • Sixty-six percent of children who attended at least 18 months of UPK were ‘On-track’ for Language and Literacy at kindergarten entry, compared to 47% of similar children in a high quality, non-UPK site.
  • Children who attended 18 months of UPK scored nearly ⅓ standard deviation units higher on the Third Grade Reading Guarantee than similar children in high quality, non-UPK sites.
  • Overall, boys tended to have lower scores on the Social Foundations subscale than girls. However, the gender gap was 7.2 points smaller among children in UPK compared to children in high quality, non-UPK settings.


UPK Outcomes 2020 Final



Children Exposed to Lead

In 2018, our research investigating lead exposure among children 0 to 6 in Cuyahoga County found:

  • Of children born in 2012 and who had been screened by age 5, 10.7% had an elevated blood lead level. Most of these children lived in Cleveland.
  • Cuyahoga County accounted for 14% of Ohio’s lead tested children, but 41% of Ohio children with elevated blood lead levels.
  • Despite rules requiring children on Medicaid to be screened at ages 1 and 2, only 50% were tested at age 1, and 34% were tested at age 2.
  • Children with elevated lead levels are half as likely as their peers to be ready for kindergarten, even after controlling for a range of background factors.

   Read the Full Report  Read the news coverage of the research


Prevention and Inclusion Programs  (Formally known as Special Needs Child Care)

Prevention and Inclusion Programs, (offered through a close partnership with Starting Point) deploy trained social workers, therapists, and nurses to provide technical assistance and specialized equipment to teachers caring for children with special needs. The program’s most recent evaluation looked at both process and outcome findings to document implementation of the enhanced program and initial outcomes achieved after a single year. 

  • According to technical assistants’ and external expert observers’ Reflective Checklist ratings, classrooms ratings generally improved from pre- to post-observation in the three major areas assessed: Daily Routines, Caring Connections and Activities & Experiences. Interestingly, however, teachers did not see improvement at the subscale level. They rated themselves similarly at pre- and post-assessment on three of the five subscales (See full report for greater detail).  
  • Eighty percent of teachers reported that they implemented the strategies suggested by the technical assistant and slightly more than half said it helped to reduce their job stress. Seventy-five percent said they felt confident to handle the challenging behavior in their classroom.

Prevention and Inclusion Programs Evaluation