Why is Early Childhood Education Important?
- Far too many children enter school not prepared.
- When unprepared children begin school behind, they tend to fall further and further behind.
- Children who are at risk of not doing well in school gain significant benefits from quality childcare.
- All children need to enter school ready and able to succeed.
- Improves school performance
- Raises math and language abilities
- Sharpens thinking/attention skills
- Reduces special education placement
- Lowers school drop out rates
Socially and emotionally:
- Improves and strengthen interactions with peers
- Decreases problem behaviors
- Encourages more exploratory behavior
- Helps adjustment to the demands of formal schooling
Long-term positive results and cost savings of Early Childhood Education:
- Increases lifelong earning potential
- Achieves better academic outcomes
- Lowers rates of teen pregnancy and incarceration
- Improves recruitment and retention of parents who work
The Perry Preschool Project is a research project started in the 1960’s. Over the last 40 years, this study has compared 2 groups of African American children born in poverty and at high risk of failing in school. The children were 3 and 4 years old. Some of the children received a high quality preschool program and some children received no preschool.
The participants have been contacted and interviewed throughout the years. Data was also gathered from schools, social services, and arrest records. Now, these children are in their 40's.
The study found that those who went to preschool:
- Had higher earnings
- Were more likely to hold a job
- Committed fewer crimes
- Were more likely to have graduated from high school than those who did not have preschool
For more information on this study visit: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation - www.highscope.org