New Study Shows Everyone Wins with Quality, Universal Preschool

Back to School BusRecently the Society for Research in Child Development and the Foundation for Child Development released a study condensing decades of prekindergarten research into one, comprehensive report that found investing in quality, universal early childhood education is beneficial for all students.

The study, “Investing in Our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education,” focused on 84 preschool programs across the county and found that children benefit in many areas, including skills-based and emotional learning.

Students in preschool gain about a third of a year of additional learning across math, reading and language skills. Long-term benefits also abound, despite test scores converging with non-preschool students. Evidence shows positive effects on high school graduation rates, years of education completed and earnings even after test-score differences diminish to zero.

The study also found that high quality preschool education is a profitable investment; the return on investment for these kinds of preschool programs is three to seven dollars per dollar invested.

With these results it is more important than ever for policymakers to support early childhood education. Investing in our future will pay dividends, not only in dollars earned, but also in closing the achievement gap that affects so many students today.