Preschool goes from F to A+

An education- and advocacy-focused nonprofit wanted to rebuild a failing preschool program. But they were concerned about expanding the range of participating families which historically had been almost completely Head Start funded.

Children and teacher standing around a globe in a classroom
Preschooler in library drawing


Philip Reese designed an multi-method study to understand the experiences of families with young children and the challenges they faced to ensure their children were ready for kindergarten.

Participants included both enrolled and non-enrolled families across a broad range of incomes and locations.

  • Competitive Analysis
  • Digital Qualitative
  • Geo-Spatial Analysis
  • In-Context Product Use
  • Journey Mapping
  • Rapid Concept Iteration
  • Secondary Research
  • Social Media Mining
  • Ethnography
  • Interviews & Focus Groups


Philip Reese learned that, regardless of income, location, and marital status, parents fit into two broad attitudinal segments when it came to early childhood education. The focus of the nonprofit’s rebuilt program was ideally suited for one of these segments.


Philip Reese shared several approaches that could effectively engage those families. The nonprofit reshaped its program to account for Philip Reese’s findings and launched a marketing program designed to reach that attitudinal segment.


Within a year of re-launching, the program was fully enrolled and profitable. Within four years, it expanded to three fully enrolled and profitable locations. Additional requests have been received to launch several other locations. The program and Philip Reese’s research were cited in A Single Garment: Creating Intentionally Diverse Schools That Benefit All Children by Genevieve Siegel-Hawley.