Welcome to the Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center (CHECC)

CHECC is an ongoing research study aimed at studying programs that will improve educational outcomes for young people. The goal of CHECC is to intervene as early as possible to generate effects that are as great as possible. In 2009, the University of Chicago and Harvard University, were awarded a $10M grant from the Griffin Foundation to begin CHECC. Over 2,000 families participated in CHECC programs between 2010 and 2014.

Now, through grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, we are working with schools, CHECC parents and children to understand the long-term impact of CHECC programs on educational and health outcomes.

How your district can help with CHECC

CHECC children were recruited from Chicago Heights, IL and the surrounding community. Some of our CHECC graduates may be attending your schools. These students are currently in 5th-10th grades. We have partnered with many school districts and want to reach more CHECC families through schools. We hope you will work with us to remain in contact with families.

We thank the following school districts for their involvement and support:
  • Chicago Heights School District 170 - for their long time and continued support
  • Country Club Hills School District 160
  • Crete-Monee School District 201-U
  • Flossmoor School District 161
  • Homewood School District 153
  • Homewood Flossmoor High School District 233
  • Infant Jesus of Prague School, Flossmoor
  • Park Forest School District 163
  • St. Agnes School, Chicago Heights
  • St. George School, Tinley Park
  • Bloom Township High School District 206
  • Community Consolidated Schools District 168
  • Deer Creek Christian School, Chicago Heights
  • Dolton-Riverdale School District 148
  • Lansing School District 158
  • Matteson School District 162
  • Sandridge School District 172
  • Steger School District 194
  • Kirby School District 140
  • West Harvey-Dixmoor School District 147
CHECC Families

We are currently reaching out to CHECC families for our next wave of surveys with parents and children. Through these surveys, we hope to understand the growth and experiences of families as children grow up. If you participated in CHECC and wish to participate in our new surveys, please email Kristin Troutman at kristint@uchicago.edu or call 708-704-2413. Share your name, your child's name, and your phone number. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you have an update to your contact information, please share it so we can keep in touch with you about future events. Email us at checc.research@gmail.com or text or call us at 708-704-2413

CHECC Virtual Mini-Conference for School District Administrators and Staff

Experiences of Preschool - Middle School Families During COVID-19

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020
4:00-5:30pm Central Time (on Zoom)

Click here to RSVP "Yes"

Researchers from the University of Chicago and the University of California, San Diego will present results on:

  • The continued impact of preschool and parenting programs on achievement
  • The impact of preschool on health and well-being outcomes
  • The effects of COVID on families' mental and physical health
  • The effects of COVID restrictions on families and school dynamics
  • What we learn from administrative data collection

Speaker Bios:

Ariel Kalil is a professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. At Harris, she directs the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy and co-directs the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab. Kalil received her PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan. She is a developmental psychologist who studies economic conditions, parenting, and child development. In addition, at the Behavioral Insights and Parenting Lab, she is leading a variety of field experiments designed to strengthen parental engagement and child development in low-income families using tools drawn from behavioral economics and neuroscience.

Anya Samek is a lead researcher on the CHECC project. She is an Associate Professor of Economics and Strategy at the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. Anya has been working with CHECC families since 2010, when she joined the University of Chicago as the Griffin Postdoctoral Scholar. Anya's work aims to inform policy and practice in the areas of education, health and charitable giving.


We thank the Homewood Science Center for hosting 1st Annual CHECC Innovations Conference.

We would love to talk with you and share more about CHECC. Please email me at kristint@uchicago.edu or text or call at 708-704-2413

Kristin Troutman
Project Manager


The Chicago Heights Early Childhood Center - 2021