Ilona Veer, MSc.

PhD Candidate

PhD project


The aim of my PhD project is to study the impact of a preschool and early childhood education program in preschools. This program is implemented in 30 preschools situated in primary schools throughout the Netherlands. The focus of the program is on stimulating cognitive, socio-emotional, motoric and language development in disadvantaged children. In the 30 preschools attention is paid to multiple objectives: increasing intensity (number of hours), professionalizing staff (deploying a primary school teacher with a Bachelor degree), and strengthening the continuity between the preschool curriculum and the curriculum in primary school. It is expected that professionalization of the staff improves process quality in preschools. To study the impact, a quasi-experimental design is used where 300 preschool children are matched with 300 children who participated in a regular preschool program. Propensity score matching is used to control for variables expected to impact development. Early literacy and early numeracy, as well as executive function development of the children is longitudinally assessed at age two, three, four and five. The development of the preschool children will be compared to development of the matched control group. Moreover, structural quality and process quality in the preschools will be assessed longitudinally and compared with the quality in the control group where a less intensive preschool program was implemented.

Educational background


Master Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Bachelor Behavioral Sciences, University of Amsterdam (UvA)


Bachelor Social work, University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam (HvA)