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Articles written by NIEER and published by outside organizations

Journal Articles

The promise of preschool: Why we need early education for all.

December 15, 2017

By Barnett, W. S., & Frede, E. C. (2010).

It’s fairly well known that high-quality preschool programs can have life-altering impacts on disadvantaged children, including reductions in school dropout and crime, and increased earnings. Not as well known is that terrific preschool programs have important academic and social benefits for middle-class children too. Decades of research indicate that if high-quality preschool were offered to all children, the benefits would far outweigh the costs. In this article, the authors discuss the key characteristics of high-quality preschool education to all children. They call for replacing the nation’s patchwork of predominately poor and mediocre programs with preschool education that is part of every state’s system of public education. They argue that the targeted approach of the early childhood policy in the United States is fundamentally unsound and should be changed in favor of public preschool for all.