Latest from Chicago Parent-Child Centers: Benefits of Early Childhood Ed Last Into Adulthood

August 8, 2007

While education researches sometimes seem consumed with tearing each other apart over what works, certain interventions have been proven time and time again to make a difference. Here is the latest study from Arthur Reynolds and co. documenting the lasting benefits of high-quality early childhood programs. Ed Week’s summary is here.

My editorial accompanying the study is here (Why Prison Not Pre-School). My bottom line:

The Chicago Longitudinal Study examined a cohort of low-income students who attended preschool beginning at ages 3 and 4 years at Child-Parent Centers in Chicago. Many of the children and families received additional remedial services during the early elementary school grades. Reynolds et al tracked the students, now 24 years old, to measure the impact of the intervention on educational attainment, crime, economic status, and physical and mental health status.

The results are striking: students who received the services were more likely than a comparison group to graduate high school and attend 4-year college, more likely to be employed full-time, less likely to be involved with serious criminal behavior or to be incarcerated, and less likely to suffer depression. These results matter, they are consistent with other research on the long-term impact of quality early-childhood education, and they deserve wide attention.


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