Universal and Targeted Approaches to Preschool Education in the United States

This article compares the current targeted approach to preschool education with a universal approach that would increase access and quality.

by W. Steven Barnett (2010)

Summary In this paper, NIEER Co-Director W. Steven Barnett argues that universal public preschool education would reach more children in low-income families, as well as children from middle- and higher-income families, and might actually improve program effectiveness, particularly through peer effects. While a universal approach would cost more than a targeted approach, it is likely to produce benefits that exceed the additional costs. This paper appeared in the International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, Volume 4, Number 1.

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