NIEER Working Paper – Estimated Impacts of Number of Years of Preschool Attendance on Vocabulary, Literacy and Math Skills at Kindergarten Entry
By W. Steven Barnett and Cynthia Esposito Lamy
A question of current interest in the national discussion on the availability, cost, quality and effectiveness of preschool programs for young children is how much more children might gain from beginning preschool education at three years old rather than waiting until age four. Especially for preschoolers at risk of poor developmental and school outcomes due to poverty, the question is an important one. This study investigates the relative effects of years of preschool on entering kindergartner’s academic skills (receptive vocabulary, phonological awareness, print awareness and early math skills) in a sample of preschoolers living in high-poverty school districts.