Early experiences with mathematics play a critical role in helping young children develop cognitive and reasoning skills. Not only do these activities build the brain’s architecture, but they also support problem-solving, puzzling, and persevering. However, differences in children’s mathematics knowledge are evident at kindergarten entry, with children who have greater access to economic resources often scoring higher than those without. This matters: mathematics performance at an early age is a strong predictor of future academic outcomes.

EDC’s Young Mathematicians project is expanding children’s opportunities to engage in high-quality mathematics learning experiences, particularly for children from families who have been historically underserved. Working in partnership with Head Start programs, teachers, and families, the project is examining how fun and playful mathematics resources can effectively bridge school and home learning environments, attending to issues of linguistic and cultural diversity. This work will promote mathematics learning in developmentally appropriate ways, reduce opportunity gaps, and expand the knowledge base about what works in early mathematics instruction.

Key Activities

This project builds on evidence from EDC’s ongoing Young Mathematicians (YM) work. This project will:

  • Develop an enhanced professional development course and teacher resources
  • Create new YM materials, including classroom games, home learning links, family math games aligned to classroom activities, mini-books, and short instructional videos
  • Conduct an experimental field study with 40 Head Start classrooms to measure the impact of YM on preschoolers’ mathematics learning


Learn More

Promoting Preschoolers’ Mathematics Knowledge
National Science Foundation