Reading Development

Risk Factors for Reading Problems

Get the facts on risk factors for reading problems to help put all kids on the path to reading success, right from the start.

Learn More About Reading Development »

For Researchers

The Science of Early Learning

Nemours BrightStart! is a scientific- and evidence-based program that improves reading readiness skills for at-risk children. We are always exploring ways to study the effectiveness of our programs and learn more about the prevention of reading failure and dyslexia. We present our findings at conferences across the U.S. and in professional journals.

The Nemours BrightStart! Research and Evaluation team includes highly qualified PhD researchers with extensive knowledge of child development, reading, experimental design and advanced statistics.

Resources for Researchers


Each year, our research has shown that the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success significantly improves the early literacy skills of at-risk prekindergarteners. View Outcomes »


Nemours BrightStart! contributes to the knowledge, scientific evidence and scholarly resources concerning reading failure in children. Here is a sampling of what researchers are saying about Nemours BrightStart! Learn More »

Current Projects

  • Study of reading readiness outcomes for children participating in the Reach Out and Read program, funded by the Academic Pediatric Association
  • Longitudinal follow-up of nearly 6,000 Nemours BrightStart! participants to assess program impact from kindergarten through third grade
  • Analyses of child outcomes by race and ethnicity, to assess the presence of disparities
  • Development of psychometrically sound Reading Readiness Skills Checklist for parents
  • Assessing a new progress monitoring tool for prekindergarteners
  • Assessing the impact of implementation fidelity on student outcomes
  • Evaluation of a new kindergarten early literacy curriculum
  • Extending our reach with prekindergarten and kindergarten projects in Central Florida, Gulf County, Fla., and Delaware
  • Impact of implementation fidelity for classroom teachers/paraprofessionals trained to implement the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success (View presentation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference)
  • Studies that analyze the moderating effects of child, family and social variables on the targeted instruction
  • Collaborative studies with universities such as the University of Delaware (View "Home Literacy Environments and Emergent Literacy Outcomes")
  • Studies with Dual Language Learners (DLL) to better understand if they have unique patterns of predictive factors and outcomes with our
    targeted instruction

Research & Evaluation

  • Four years of research outcomes using randomized controlled trials showing success in multiple early reading skill domains in preschoolers following instruction with the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success
  • Program evaluation efforts that provide feedback to the screening and instruction programs ensuring the quality and effectiveness of our programs
  • Longitudinal projects, to follow children through the third grade on key early literacy skills who completed the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success as prekindergarteners
  • Evaluation of new service delivery models, including “capacity-building” models, so we can extend our reach to even greater numbers of children
  • Research and evaluation projects in private Catholic preschools, child care centers and public schools, in which prekindergarten teachers were trained to implement the program themselves
  • The development of a Technical Manual (PDF) for the Nemours BrightStart! The Complete Program for Early Literacy Success that outlines many of the program’s achievements

See Our Results & Outcomes »

Quality Assurance

  • Evaluation of program outcomes each year for continuous improvement
  • Fidelity monitoring of instructors trained to implement the curriculum
  • Integration of new research from the field into our own practices
  • Measures of satisfaction from our diverse consumers — parents, child care center directors, educators and attendees of Nemours BrightStart! curriculum, training, professional development workshops and education sessions