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Is preschool the best job-training program?: Cleveland Connects: The First 2,000 Days

June 20, 2016
Economics and FinanceOutcomesQuality and Curriculum
Sara Dorn

The skills employers value most, some experts contend, are not learned in high school or college and can’t be measured by standardized tests. The ability to problem-solve, plan, stay organized and deal with clients and co-workers — so-called “soft skills” —are best learned in preschool, when children’s brains are sponges and every experience helps form the mental framework that lasts a lifetime.

“If you want to increase the average skills of your workers 20 years from now, one of the most cost-effective ways of doing that is investing in early childhood education,” said Tim Bartik an economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

In the latest installment of Cleveland Connects: The First 2,000 Days, an informational series on the importance of investing in the first five years of children’s lives, looks at soft skills and the roles that parents and preschools play in developing the skills.