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Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Preschool’s hidden value may be in combating poverty


October 2, 2017
Jill Barshay
The Hechinger Report

It’s been hard to prove that attending preschool makes a difference for kids, academically. Many research studies have found that children who didn’t go to preschool catch up to those who did in just a few years. By third grade, there’s often no difference in math and reading scores between the preschooled and the non-preschooled child. Experts call it “fadeout.”

That hasn’t sat well with advocates of early childhood education. They point to other studies that have looked beyond elementary schools’ test scores, and have found that preschooled children are more likely to graduate from high school, be employed and raise families in stable marriages.

Now a pair of researchers has taken this line of research one generation further, and found that the offspring of preschooled children are living significantly better young-adult lives than the offspring of non-preschooled children. In that second generation, whose parents lived in a community that offered a free, federally funded Head Start preschool program in the 1960s, people were graduating from high school and attending college in much higher numbers, and were far less likely to be involved in crime or become a teen parent themselves.