Preschool Social Programs Demonstrate the Importance of a Child's Early Years

In 1962, researchers wanted to test the effects of an early-childhood preschool training program they had designed. Kids in Ypsilanti, Michigan, were randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first attended the preschool program (which eventually became a model for other preschool programs nationwide, including Head Start). The second group did not. The differences powerfully illustrate the importance of a child’s early years. The kids in the program academically outperformed the controls in virtually every way you can measure performance, from IQ and language tests in the early years to standardized achievement assessments and literacy exams in the later years. More graduated from high school (84 percent vs. 32 percent for the girls). Not surprisingly, they were more likely to attend college. The kids who were not in the program were four times more likely to require treatment for a mental-health problem (36 percent vs. 8 percent). They were twice as likely to repeat a grade (41 percent vs. 21 percent). As adults, those who had been in the program were less likely to commit crimes and more likely to hold steady jobs. They made more money, more often had a savings account, and were more likely to own a home. Economists calculated that the return on society’s investment in such a program was 7 to 10 percent, about what you’d historically get in the stock market. Some estimate a substantially higher return: $16 for every tax dollar invested in early childhood.


Programs like Head Start have a lifetime's worth of positive benefits for the children enrolled in them.

Folksonomies: parenting cognition child development preschool

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 Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Medina , John (2010-10-12), Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five, Pear Press, Retrieved on 2011-07-27
Folksonomies: parenting pregnancy babies child development


11 AUG 2011

 The Science of Social Welfare

Social Welfare grew from a series of studies that determined children and babies who were malnourished or overly stressed suffered lifetimes of problems behaviorally and economically.