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Lifelong Gains

Investing in early childhood education creates upward mobility by providing all children with a solid foundation for long-term success in life. These benefits do not end with one child but extend to their entire families and communities in the years to come. 

Here are five things to know about child care and lifelong gains.

  1. Studies show that access to quality early learning programs can reduce educational and opportunity gaps between children from low and high-income families at kindergarten entry. Kindergarten readiness is a key predictor of a child’s long-term academic success.
  2. Children participating in high-quality early learning programs have higher graduation rates. Attending early learning programs is linked to a 6% increase in high school graduation and a 5.5% increase in attendance at a four-year college. 
  3. Adults who had quality early childhood education as children are more likely to be employed full-time, own a home, and have a savings account.
  4. Adults who participated in high-quality early education programs as children, like Head Start saw long-term health benefits, including reduced rates of depression, alcohol and tobacco use, and cardiovascular disease.
  5. Research shows that Head Start improves the parenting practices of parents while their child is attending the program, as well as their own children decades later. Supportive parental involvement contributes to a child’s long term success in school and life.

Learn more:


Learn About the Positive Impact of MIECHV in Your State

June 22, 2022

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program provides federal funds to states, territories, and tribal entities for voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services. This program was reauthorized in …


ZERO TO THREE Releases State of Babies 2022 Yearbook

May 5, 2022

ZERO TO THREE released the State of Babies Yearbook: 2022, an in-depth report on how state and federal policies, along with the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, have impacted …


High-Quality Early Learning & Care: Understanding the Proven Benefits & Need for Investment

February 3, 2022

Economic development starts with early childhood development—and the best investments ensure all children who need it have access to high-quality early learning and care opportunities. Evidence shows that increased access …


Child Care & Pre-K are Strategic Economic Investments: Impact on Health

November 19, 2021

As Congress considers the Build Back Better Act, the White House recently released President Biden’s Build Back Better Agenda Will Boost Economic Growth, a fact sheet analyzing how various policies …


New Report from OECD: Supporting Meaningful Interactions in Early Childhood Education and Care

August 4, 2021

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently released its sixth Starting Strong report, which includes data from 26 countries and jurisdictions throughout the world. The report focused on …


New Data Reveals Lasting, Intergenerational Benefits of Early Learning Programs in Children 50 Years Later

July 21, 2021

A research team from the University of Chicago, which includes Nobel Prize-winning economist James J. Heckman, released the results of new analysis from an ongoing study of the Perry Preschool …


On Capitol Hill, Secretaries Cardona & Becerra Emphasize the Long-Term Value of Early Learning Investments

June 17, 2021

This week, members of Congress on capitol hill elevated the importance of investments in high-quality early learning and care in two hearings featuring Education Secretary Miguel Cardona and Health and …


New Research Examines the Lifelong Impact of Racism on a Child’s Development

May 27, 2021

Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and sustained exposure to trauma are shown to have a negative impact on a child’s development that can last a lifetime. New analysis from the Harvard …


MIT Study Reveals Long-Term Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Education

May 10, 2021

This morning, the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released the findings of a new study on the long-term effects of Boston’s preschool program. …


New Report Offers Recommendations for Dismantling Systemic Racism in Early Care and Education

February 16, 2021

A core element of addressing the systemic racism that exists in this country must be reforming the institutions, laws, and policies that disproportionately disadvantage people of color, and also creating …


FFYF’s Blueprint for Progress

February 8, 2021

Across the political spectrum, voters and policymakers recognize the importance of investing in policy solutions that support healthy development in children, beginning at birth, while allowing working parents to pursue …


John Legend: Invest in Early Childhood Education

January 19, 2021

John Legend knows that legends can come from anywhere. They all start in the same place: with a dream and a chance to make that dream come true. High-quality early …

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