Universal and Targeted

Publications and Research

In 2013, preschool education received more attention in the media and public policy circles than it has for some time, in part because of a series of high-profile proposals to expand access to quality pre-K.  The scientific basis for these proposed expansions of quality pre-K is impressive.  This paper brings to bear the full weight of the evidence to address the following questions:

  • What does all the evidence say about effective preschool education and long-term cognitive benefits?
  • What are the estimated effects of state and local pre-K programs in more recent years?
  • Is Head Start ineffective? 
  • Can government improve the quality of public preschool education? 
  • If states expand pre-K with temporary federal matching funds, what happens to state education budgets when that federal money is not available?

NIEER projects that in 2030 all but 1 state would spend less on education from pre-K through grade 12 under federal proposals that incentivize states to raise pre-K quality standards, offer a full school day, and serve all children under 200 percent of the federal poverty level. 

NIEER Director Dr. Steven Barnett was a panelist at the National Summit on Hispanic Early Learning, hosted by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, on September 18, 2013 at Miami-Dade College. 

This policy report clears up some common misconceptions about preschool's effectiveness and benefits, particularly in regards to the Obama administration's recent fact sheet on investing in early education.

NIEER Director Steve Barnett spoke about the return on investment in supporting pre-K with public funding at the Global HR Forum in Seoul, South Korea.

At the inaugural meeting of the Work and Family Researchers Network, NIEER Director Steven Barnett gave this presentation on the benefits of high-quality preschool education.

Pages