Research Report

Insights into Absenteeism in DCPS Early Childhood Program

Absenteeism in early grades, including prekindergarten, can negatively impact future attendance, retention, and academic performance. This report details research focused on absenteeism of children in the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) early childhood program. Through interviews with key DCPS staff as well as education experts and district administrators throughout the country, and reviewing relevant literature and case management notes, we examined contributing factors to early childhood absenteeism in DC, current attendance tracking and intervention efforts, and potential strategies to improve attendance. The report includes recommendations about steps that the DCPS Early Childhood Education Division could consider to limit absenteeism.