A new report out today from Learning Policy Institute analyzes research studies of 21 public preschool programs and found that, overall, children who attend preschool programs are more prepared for school than children who do not attend preschool programs.
The Learning Policy Institute’s report aggregated numerous studies about preschool effectiveness, including some that have previously cast doubt on students’ long-term gains from early education. The meta-analysis highlights the positive effects of preschool on children’s early literacy and mathematical skills and notes that quality of programing is a key factor in the sustained nature of gains for children. Additionally, the analysis found that children who attended preschool were less likely to be retained or identified as having special education needs later in their academic careers. The report suggests implementation of rigorous standards, proven curriculum, and strong teacher preparation to ensure that more children have access to high-quality learning.
The findings of the Learning Policy Institute affirms the findings of other studies that show the benefits of early learning. Earlier this year, the University of Michigan released a longitudinal study showing that Head Start has positive long-term impacts on both higher education attainment and economic self-sufficiency.
High-quality early learning and care can support healthy development for children, improve school readiness, and create lifelong academic and economic gains. You can learn more about why early care and learning matters and the benefits here.