Benefits of Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education benefits children, their families, and their communities. From improved academic outcomes to the economic savings to schools and states, the benefits or high-quality early childhood education are irrefutable.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESULTS IN SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS
Increases high school graduation rates – Chicago children who attended an early childhood education program were 29% more likely to graduate from high school than their peers who did not attend.

Helps children do better on standardized tests – Michigan fourth graders who had attended early childhood education programs passed the state's literacy and math assessment tests at higher rates than their peers who did not attend.

Reduces grade repetition – Maryland fifth graders who attended an early childhood education program were 44% less likely to have repeated a grade than their peers who did not attend.

Reduces the number of children placed in special education – Among Chicago children, those who attended an early childhood education program were 41% likely to require special education services than their peers who did not attend.

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESULTS IN RESPONSIBLE ADULTS
Reduces crime and delinquency – Chicago children who did not attend early childhood education programs were 70% more likely to be arrested for violent crime by age 18 than their peer who had attended.

Lowers rates of teen pregnancy – North Carolina children who attended early childhood programs were less likely to become teen parents than their peers who did not attend (26% vs. 45%).

Leads to greater employment and higher wages as adults – Forty-year old adults in Michigan who attended early childhood education programs as children were more likely to be employed and had a 33% higher average income than their peers who did not attend.

Contributes to more stable families - Forty-year old adults in Michigan who attended early childhood education programs as children were more likely to report that they were getting along very well with their families than their peers who did not attend (75% vs. 64%).

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION RESULTS IN STRONGER COMMUNITIES
Every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood education saves the taxpayers $7 – savings are found in reduction of remedial and special education, welfare, and criminal justice services.

Improves efficiency and productivity in the classroom – Children who attended early childhood education programs as Head Start centers had more advanced skills in areas such as following directions, problem-solving, and joining in activities, all of which allow teachers to spend more time working directly with children and less on classroom management.

(Sources: Chicago Longitudinal Study; “State Efforts to Evaluate the Effects of Pre-Kindergarten”, Yale University Child Study Center; The Carolina Abecedarian Project; The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project; “The Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey”, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)