Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility

W. Steven Barnett and Clive R. Belfield
This article discusses the effects of preschool education programs on disadvantaged children's movement up the ladder.

In this article, published in The Future of Children, Volume 16, Number 2, the authors examine the effects of preschool education on social mobility in the U.S. The authors conclude that increased investment in preschool education could raise social mobility, although increasing the educational effectiveness of preschool programs would provide great gains in social mobility than increasing participation rates alone. Also, the authors note that if preschool programs expanded to serve all children, society as a whole would gain, but relative gains for disadvantaged children would be smaller than absolute gains because there would be benefits to other children as well.

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