"Dr. Bagnato’s SPECS Team’s focused, high quality evaluation research has helped us in many important respects. First, it documents the impact and outcomes of our high-profile public-private Pre K Counts partnership. Second, kudos to Dr. Bagnato for finding a way to communicate our positive results in a digestible manner that can reach lay stakeholders including civic and elected leaders, and business leaders and help them to understand the impact in terms and language that works for them.”

Harriet Dichter Deputy Secretary, Office of Child Development and EarlyLearning, Departments of Education and Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


  • Authentic measurement strategies and participatory action research methods
    to forge the evidence-base for effective early childhood intervention programs.
  • Longitudinal research focusing upon the complex interrelationships among child, family,
    program, community, and health factors which predict early school success outcomes.
  • Linkages and alignment with state and federal early learning outcome standards and indicators.

Since 1997, Dr. Bagnato and his ECP program have been funded by the Heinz Endowments and state and federal grants and interagency contracts to conduct longitudinal research on the impact and outcomes of high-quality early childhood intervention programs on nearly 20,000 high-risk children in 100 school districts and regions across Pennsylvania (e.g., Early Childhood Initiative; Pre-K Counts, Include Me from the Start, Cub Scouts 123).

SPECS for ECI: The Heinz Pennsylvania Early Childhood Initiatives (ECI)- The Vira and Howard Heinz Endowments; (1997-2003).

SPECS for Pre-K Counts- The Heinz Endowments; Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Departments of Public Welfare and Education, Pre-K Counts in Pennsylvania; (2005-2009).

SPECS for PEIOS: The Pennsylvania Early Intervention Outcomes Study (PEIOS)- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Departments of Education and Mental Health, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL); (2005-2006).

SPECS for ECI-Demonstration Project- Office of Child Development (OCD), University of Pittsburgh; (2003-2006).

SPECS for 4KIDS in Braddock-The Direct Instruction Project/Early Reading First/Propel Charter Schools. US Department of Education and private funding; (2005-present).

SPECS for the Early Childhood Congress (ECC)-Montgomery County Maryland Public Schools and Department of Health and Human Services; (2006-2008).

SPECS for South Side-South Side School District, Beaver County; (2009-Present).

SPECS for the Boy Scouts of Pittsburgh-United Way of Allegheny County; (2009-present). 

SPECS for Include Me from the Start---Arc of Pennsylvania/PA Department of Education (2010-2012)

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