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The Benefits of Early Childhood Education. Who We Are. Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children Advocacy organization Independent, non-profit Prevention-focused, research-based

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Who We Are

  • Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

    • Advocacy organization

    • Independent, non-profit

    • Prevention-focused, research-based

  • Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children is a strong, effective and trusted voice for improving the health, education and well-being of the Commonwealth’s children.


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • National Academies of Sciences

    • “Neurons to Neighborhoods”

  • Early experiences affect the development of the brain and lay the foundation for intelligence, emotional health, and social development.

  • 90% of brain growth occurs before age 5

  • Little public financing in the early years


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Key research findings:

    • Neurons to Neighborhoods

      • Importance of early life experiences and interactive influences of genetics and life experiences –

        • not nature vs. nurture but nature and nurture

      • Early relationships either support development or foster dysfunction

      • Basic capacities (cognitive and linguistic), emotional foundation and social skills are all well develop before children reach school

      • The possibility to increase the odds for positive development through planned interventions is substantial


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Bridging research to practice:

    • Neurons to Neighborhoods

      • More parents working more hours – juggling of work and family at all income levels

      • High levels of economic hardship for many families

      • Continued ethnic and racial disparities

      • Growing number of children spending more hours in child care settings, often of poor or mediocre quality

      • Greater awareness of stressors on the lives of young children


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Participation in high-quality early care and education improves children’s health and promotes their development and learning. (Source: American Academy of Pediatrics)

  • Regardless of family income, high-quality programs have positive impact on children’s cognitive and language development.


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Children attending pre-school


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Landmark Study: Perry Preschool

  • The study found that adults at age 40 who participated in the preschool program had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, had committed fewer crimes, and were more likely to have graduated from high school than adults who did not have preschool.


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Return on Investment

  • Overall, the Perry Preschool study documented a return to society of more than a $17 for every tax dollar invested in the early care and education program.


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Kids who start behind, stay behind

  • Nearly 90% of children who are poor readers in first grade will still be poor readers by fourth grade

  • One-third of children entering kindergarten cannot recognize the letters of the alphabet and more than half do not know basic math concepts.(Source: Pew Center on the States and National Conference of State Legislatures)


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Conditions are worse for our low-income children:

    • During their preschool years, low-income spend 25 hours reading vs. 1,000 – 1,700 hours spent reading by middle class peers

    • Start school with half the vocabulary of middle class peers – gap widens

    • Learn best in heterogeneous groups


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Research comes from surprising sources:

    • Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

      “Investments made by families and society in children early in life yield both public and private long-term returns, including higher lifetime earnings for children, higher tax revenues and lower government transfer payments”

      • 12% public return

      • 16% public and private return

      • Calls for large scale, public investment


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Support comes from many:

    • Committee on Economic Development

    • National Business Roundtable

    • Fight Crime, Invest in Kids

    • Philanthropy


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Early Childhood EducationA Strategic Opportunity

  • Children who attend high quality ECE learn social skills, self confidence and the ability to deal with others.

    • ECE creates successful students

    • ECE creates solid citizens

    • ECE creates better communities


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Successful Students

  • Children who enter kindergarten from high quality ECE programs such as pre-K have better reading, language and social skills than those who didn’t go to preschool

  • ECE increases high school graduation rates

    • Chicago children who attended a pre-K program were 29% more likely to graduate from high school than their peers who did not have pre-K. (Source: Chicago Longitudinal Study)

  • ECE helps children do better on standardized tests

    - Children from quality pre-K get better test scores in later grades and are likelier to graduate from high school. (National Research Council, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, 2000.)


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Successful Students

  • ECE reduces grade retention

    • Maryland fifth graders who attended pre-K were 44% less likely to have repeated a grade than their peers who did not attend pre-K. (Source: "State Efforts to Evaluate the Effects of Pre-Kindergarten,” Yale University Child Study Center)

  • ECE reduces the number of children placed in special education

    - Among Chicago children, those who attended pre-K were 41% less likely to require special education services than their peers who did not attend. (Source: Chicago Longitudinal Study)


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Solid Citizens

  • As adults, children who attend high quality ECE programs are likelier to be married, with higher educational attainments and better-paying jobs.(Source: University of North Carolina, Early Learning, Later Success: The Abecedarian Study, 1999)

  • ECE reduces crime and delinquency

    • Chicago children who did not attend pre-K were 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18 than their peers who had been pre-K participants. (Source: Chicago Longitudinal Study)


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Solid Citizens

  • ECE lowers rates of teen pregnancy

    • North Carolina children who attended pre-K were less likely to become teen parents than their peers who did not attend pre-K: 26% vs. 45%.

    • (Source: The North Carolina Abecedarian Project)

  • ECE leads to greater employment and higher wages as adults

    • Forty-year-old adults in Michigan who attended pre-K as children were more likely to be employed and had a 33% higher average income than their peers who did not have pre-K. (Source: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project)


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Better Communities

  • Return on Investment

    • Pre-K results in savings by reducing the need for remedial and special education, welfare, and criminal justice services.(Sources: The Economics of Investing in Universal Preschool Education in California, RAND Corporation; The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project)

  • Pre-K is a vital part of workforce development

    - Pennsylvania’s employers support ECE investments because they equip young learners with the skills for school success and after graduation, workplace competence.


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School Readiness in PAConditions of Children 0-5

  • 1 in 3 children lives in a low-income family

  • 1 in 6 babies was born to a mother with less than a high school diploma

  • 900 children where victims of child abuse and neglect

  • 66.5% of income-eligible children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in Head Start

  • Only 3.9% of young children have a quality child care space available to them


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School Readiness in PAConditions of Children 0-5

  • Over 66,000 children receive subsidized child care each day

  • 10,271 children were enrolled in public school pre-K in 2004-05

  • 51% of PA kindergarteners are in full-day K compared to 65% nationally

  • 32% of our 3rd graders score below proficient in reading

  • 20% of our 3rd graders score below proficient in math


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School Readiness Cumberland CountyConditions of Children 0-5

  • 1 in 4 children lives in a low-income family

  • 1 in 8 babies was born to a mother with less than a high school diploma

  • 40% of income-eligible children ages 3 and 4 are enrolled in Head Start

  • Only 6% of young children have a quality child care space available to them

  • Over 500 children receive subsidized child care each day


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School Readiness Cumberland CountyConditions of Children 0-5

  • No children were enrolled in public school pre-K in 2004-05

  • 51% of PA children have FDK but only 23.9% of children in Cumberland Co.

  • 26% of our 3rd graders scored below proficient in reading in Big Spring, 15% in Cumberland Valley, and 24% in Carlisle

  • 15% of 3rd graders scored below proficient in math in East Pennsboro, 13% in Shippensburg and 16% in Camp Hill


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Better Communities

  • Stewardship: giving to children today who give back to society later

  • Increased tax revenue

  • Increased competitiveness and more skilled labor force/workforce development– if young people aren’t prepared for learning today, they’ll fail in school and as young adults, fail at work

  • We can and must do more….


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To Contact Us

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children

www.papartnerships.org

800-257-2030

Joan L. Benso

President & CEO


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