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Benefits of Preschool Education - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Benefits of Preschool Education. W. Steven Barnett, Director National Institute for Early Education Research Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey For further information go to our website: Preschool’s Benefits. Increased Achievement Test Scores

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Benefits of Preschool Education

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Benefits of Preschool Education

W. Steven Barnett, Director

National Institute for Early Education Research

Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey

For further information go to our website:

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Preschool’s Benefits

  • Increased Achievement Test Scores

  • Improved Behavior and Attitudes

  • Decreased Grade Retention

  • Decreased Special Education

  • Decreased Crime & Delinquency

  • Increased High School Graduation

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Three Exemplary Studies

High/Scope Perry Preschool– a half-day program on a small scale in the Ypsilanti, MI public schools

True Experiment, n=123, follow-up to age 27

Abecedarian educational child care– a full-day year-round program in Chapel Hill, NC

True Experiment, n=111, follow-up to age 21

Chicago-Child Parent Centers (CPC)– a half-day program on a large scale in the Chicago public schools

Quasi-Experimental, n=1286, follow-up to age 18-21

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Perry Preschool IQ Over Time

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Perry Preschool: Educational Effects

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Perry: Arrests Per Person by Age 27

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Perry: Economic Benefits at Age 27

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Abecedarian IQ Scores Over Time

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Abecedarian Reading Ach. Over Time

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Abecedarian Math Achievement Over Time

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Abecedarian : Academic Benefits

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Abecedarian: Benefits to Mothers and Children

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CPC Academic Benefits

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CPC Social Benefits

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Perry: Economic Return to the Public(excludes $20,000 in economic benefits to participants)

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Abecedarian: Economic Return

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CPC: Economic Return

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Cost – Benefit Analysis of Preschool for Disadvantaged Children

Cost Benefit to Society

  • Perry Preschool: $12,000$108,000

  • Abecedarian: $35,864$136,000

  • CPC: $7,000$ 48,000

    All three studies find that economic benefits from intensive, high-quality programs to taxpayers and participants combined far exceed the cost of high-quality programs (comparable to the cost of public education generally).

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Education Challenges

  • Many Children Start School with Significant Academic Disadvantages

  • Many Social and Emotional Problems Are Evident Prior to School Entry

  • High School Graduation Declined 40 Years

  • College Graduation Rate Flat for 25 Years

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Middle Class Children At Risk Too

Middle class children have fairly high rates of academic problems preschool reduces for low-income children.

Reducing these problems could generate large benefits.

IncomeRetention Dropout

Lowest 20%17% 23%

20-80% 12% 11%

Highest 20% 8% 3%

Source:US Department of Education, NCES (1997). Dropout rates in the United States: 1995. Figures are multi-year averages.

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Most Children Attend Preschool

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Preschool Attendance by Mother’s Education

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Preschool Classroom Quality is Too Low




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Child Care Teacher Literacy is Low

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  • Preschool produces cognitive and social emotional gains for children (at least disadvantaged)

  • Quality preschool education can be a good economic investment

  • Most 3-4 year old children already attend some type of classroom

  • Access and quality must be improved if society is to obtain the returns

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