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Head Start REDI

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

An enrichment intervention integrated into the existing framework of Head Start programs using the High/Scope or Creative Curriculum.

Program Outcomes

  • Antisocial-aggressive Behavior
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Positive Social/Prosocial Behavior
  • Preschool Communication/Language Development
  • School Readiness

Program Type

  • Early Childhood Education
  • School - Individual Strategies
  • Skills Training
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Teacher Training

Program Setting

  • School

Continuum of Intervention

  • Universal Prevention (Entire Population)


  • Early Childhood (3-4) - Preschool


  • Male and Female


  • All Race/Ethnicity


  • Blueprints: Promising

Program Information Contact

Karen Bierman, Ph.D.
Penn State University
Department of Psychology
251 Moore Building
University Park, PA 16801

Program Developer/Owner

  • Karen L. Bierman
  • Pennsylvania State University

Brief Description of the Program

The Head Start REDI program is designed as an enrichment intervention that can be integrated into the existing framework of Head Start programs that are already using the High/Scope or Creative Curriculum. The intervention is delivered by classroom teachers and integrated into their ongoing classroom programs. It includes curriculum-based lessons, center-based extension activities, and training and weekly classroom coaching in "teaching strategies" to use throughout the day. It is focused primarily on social-emotional skill enrichment using the PATHS Preschool curriculum and language/emergent literacy skill enrichment. Parents also receive take-home materials describing the importance of positive support, emotion coaching, and interactive reading, with parenting tips and learning activities to use at home. In addition, REDI-P (Bierman et al., 2015) adds parent training intended to extend benefits to children for a longer period through parental support.

See: Full Description


Bierman, Domitrovich et al. (2008), Bierman, Nix et al. (2008), Bierman et al. (2014), Nix et al. (2013; 2016)

  • Parents and teachers reported less aggression among those in the intervention group when compared to the control group at posttest and follow-up.
  • Students in the intervention group showed more improvements in emergent literacy skills than control students at posttest and, for a measure of phonemic decoding, at follow-up.
  • Children in the intervention group showed more improvements on child vocabulary and on parent reports of communication and language use at home at posttest.
  • At the 4-year follow-up, intervention subjects showed more positive trajectories for several measures of socio-emotional functioning such as social competence, aggressive-oppositional behavior, and peer rejection.

Effects on Risk and Protective Factors

  • Students in the intervention group showed more improvement than those in the control group on emotional understanding at posttest and social problem-solving skills at posttest and follow-up.
  • At the 4-year follow-up, intervention subjects showed more positive trajectories for several measures of socio-emotional functioning such as learning behavior, attention problems, and student-teacher closeness.

Bierman et al. (2015) REDI-P home visit program

At posttest, there was a significant intervention effect for standardized tests of language and literacy skills in:

  • Emergent literacy
  • Academic performance

In addition, there was a significant intervention effect for teacher reports of social-emotional adjustment in:

  • Self-directed learning
  • Social competence

Risk and Protective Factors

At posttest, there was a significant intervention effect for parent reports of parent support for learning in:

  • Reading quality
  • Conversations

Race/Ethnicity/Gender Details

Nix et al. (2013) reported that the intervention effects on posttest outcomes generally did not differ significantly across European-American, African-American, or Latino-American children, although there were a few differences in indirect effects.

Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Factors
  • Individual: Antisocial/aggressive behavior*
  • Family: Low socioeconomic status
Protective Factors
  • Individual: Clear standards for behavior, Problem solving skills*, Prosocial behavior, Skills for social interaction*
  • Family: Opportunities for prosocial involvement with parents, Parent social support, Parental involvement in education, Rewards for prosocial involvement with parents
  • School: Opportunities for prosocial involvement in education, Rewards for prosocial involvement in school

*Risk/Protective Factor was significantly impacted by the program.

See also: Head Start REDI Logic Model (PDF)

Training and Technical Assistance

REDI program training is usually done on site, for a Head Start program or set of preschools/child-care centers serving a common community. The initial training workshop consists of three days. Ideally, the first two days are scheduled together before teachers begin the program, with the third day scheduled about 2 months later. The first two days provide teachers/trainees with theory, research background, lessons modelled by the trainer, practice to prepare teachers to use PATHS Curriculum lessons with fidelity, along with the interactive reading, Sound Games, and print center activities. Implementation planning also occurs during this initial training. Teachers then begin to teach the REDI curriculum. Over the first two months of implementation, teachers become more familiar and comfortable with the general flow of the REDI lessons. During the third day of training, about 2 months after they have started training, they are ready to discuss teaching strategies that will optimize program impact. The third day of training is more interactive, and moves beyond the pragmatics of REDI implementation to talk about high-quality learning interactions, and how to support children’s self-regulated learning. Trainer and teachers discuss advanced curriculum issues, trade ideas and engage in problem solving; teachers also model interactive lessons. Another option is to schedule training for three consecutive days.

Training is also available for local REDI coaches. These can be program supervisors or master teachers, who have time allotted to provide mentoring/coaching to teachers as they implement the REDI program. There is a one-day training for coaches that is scheduled before the first teacher training. Coaches typically observe classrooms and meet with teachers to support teachers and discuss program implementation and teaching strategies. The teaching strategies emphasize positive classroom management and enriched language use. Coaching typically requires about one hour per week per classroom during the first year of REDI implementation. Regular conference calls with a national trainer provide coaches with the support they need to oversee program implementation and support teachers.

For optimal implementation, sites should consider booster training/technical assistance activities in subsequent years of program implementation. Ongoing consultation and booster visits are available and are often desired by comprehensive, long-term implementations. The trainer can provide a booster visit each year (one day in length) to meet with the staff and provide continued professional development. One day of fidelity visits is another option, in which the trainer visits schools, observes lessons, provides constructive feedback on how to help the program move forward in year two and beyond. The trainer can also provide ongoing consultation by means of regularly scheduled phone calls/conference calls and on-call email consultation with the local REDI coach or coordinator.

Training Certification Process

The first step to becoming a REDI Trainer is to attain Preschool PATHS Trainer certification. The PATHS Training Program is designed to develop highly experienced, high quality trainers who are fully competent to provide training in the PATHS Curriculum to their local educational entity. Trainers can include staff (teachers, support staff, staff developers) from local school districts/boards, Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and non-profit agencies focused on the promotion of children’s early learning, mental health and youth development. PATHS Education Worldwide LLC trains these qualified “educators” to conduct school-based or regional workshops for the preparation of teachers and school support staff who plan to implement PATHS Curricula within these educational entities. Once certified, PATHS Trainers conduct workshops and provide follow-up technical assistance and coaching services for their district or regional personnel in accordance with the PATHS workshop training materials, agenda and guidelines. REDI training builds upon Preschool PATHS training to add competency in training the interactive reading, sound games, and print center activities that are part of the REDI program, along with Preschool PATHS.

To be considered as an Affiliate Trainer for REDI requires meeting the following prerequisites:

  • Attendance at a Preschool PATHS Workshop/REDI Workshop
  • High Quality Performance for at least two years as a Preschool PATHS/REDI teacher or PATHS/REDI Coach
  • Master’s degree (or comparable credentials)
  • Classroom experience with students in a learner role (teaching, administration, and school counseling preferred)
  • Training experience with educators

After meeting the pre-requisites above, the requirements to be certified as a trainer include participation in the following four-step training/certification process. The AT candidate(s) receive four days of coaching from a PATHS Master Trainer in addition to participation in an Observation Workshop and two Shared Workshops. The first day of coaching follows the Observation Workshop. The second day precedes the Shared Workshop. The third day follows the Shared Workshop in preparation for the second Shared Workshop. The fourth day follows the second Shared Workshop in preparation for certification as a Preschool PATHS/REDI trainer. The primary purpose of the coaching days are to provide detailed and personalized instruction in how to conduct the PATHS/REDI workshop and to observe and provide feedback on candidates’ training skills. This formalized process includes benchmarks of performance for all perspective affiliate trainers. Candidates who successfully complete the program are certified as Affiliate Trainers.

Brief Evaluation Methodology

The Head Start REDI study (Bierman, Domitrovich et al., 2008; Bierman, Nix et al. 2008; Bierman et al. 2014; Nix et al., 2013; Nix et al., 2016) was designed as a randomized trial that involved 25 centers with 44 classrooms. Centers were randomly assigned to either the treatment condition (REDI) or to the usual practice of Head Start. The classrooms were drawn from three counties in Pennsylvania and involved a mix of large and small towns. In total, 356 4-year-olds participated. They were assessed pre-intervention, post-intervention, 1 year after the intervention, and annually up to 4 years after the intervention. Children were observed during playtime and assessed by their parents and teachers.

An additional study (Bierman et al., 2015) was conducted to evaluate the added benefit of home visits with REDI-P. This randomized trial involved 200 families randomly assigned to either the treatment of additional home visits or the control of the standard Head Start REDI program. The study recruited families from 24 Head Start centers in three urban and rural Pennsylvania counties during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years. The study conducted assessments in the fall of prekindergarten and the end of kindergarten. Children completed standardized tests, teachers reported on student achievement and attitudes, parents and children were observed by researchers, and parents reported their own behavior and attitudes.


Bierman, K., Domitrovich, C., Nix, R., Gest, S., Welsh, J., Greenberg, M., ... Gill, S. (2008). Promoting academic and social-emotional school readiness: The Head Start REDI program. Child Development, 79(6), 1802-1817.

Bierman, K. L., Nix, R. L., Greenberg, M. T., Blair, C., & Domitrovich, C. E. (2008). Executive functions and school readiness intervention: Impact, moderation, and mediation in the Head Start REDI program. Development and Psychology 20(3), 821-843.

Bierman, K. L., Nix, R. L., Heinrichs, B. S., Domitrovich, C. E., Gest, S. D., Welsh, J. A., & Gill, S. (2014). Effects of Head Start REDI on children’s outcomes 1 year later in different kindergarten contexts. Child Development, 85(1), 140-159.

Bierman, K. L., Welsh, J. A., Heinrichs, B. S., Nix, R. L., & Mathis, E. T. (2015). Helping Head Start parents promote their children’s kindergarten adjustment: The research-based developmentally informed parent program. Child Development, 86, 1877-1891.

Nix, R. L., Bierman, K. L., Domitrovich, C. E., & Gill, S. (2013). Promoting children’s social-emotional skills in preschool can enhance academic and behavioral functioning in kindergarten: Findings from Head Start REDI. Early Education and Development, 24(7), 1000-1019.

Nix, R. L., Bierman, K. L., Heinrichs, B. S., Gest, S. D., Welsh, J. A., & Domitrovich, C. E. (2016). The randomized-controlled trial of Head Start REDI: Sustained effects on developmental trajectories of social-emotional functioning. Forthcoming Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84(4), 310-322.