The expansion of publicly-funded preschool education is currently the focus of a prominent debate. The research brief "Investing in Our Future: The Evidence Base on Preschool Education," authored by an interdisciplinary group of early childhood experts, reviews rigorous evidence on why early skills matter, which children benefit from preschool, the short- and long-term effects of preschool programs on children's school readiness and life outcomes, the importance of program quality, and the costs versus benefits of preschool education.
The research brief was funded by the Foundation for Child Development and produced in collaboration with the Society for Research in Child Development.
"Scientific evidence on the impacts of early childhood education has progressed well beyond exclusive reliance on the evaluations of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs," according to Dr. Hiro Yoshikawa, a professor at New York University's Steinhardt School and lead author of the brief. "More recent evidence tells us a great deal about what works in early education and how early education might be improved."
"The recent evidence includes evaluations of city-wide public preschool programs such as those in Tulsa and Boston," according to Dr. Deborah A. Phillips, a professor of psychology at Georgetown University and a co-author of the brief. "Evaluations of these programs tell us that preschool programs implemented at scale can be high quality, can benefit children from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and can reduce disparities."
According to the authors, the current science and evidence base on early childhood education shows that:
The authors of the research brief will be discussing their findings at an upcoming event, "Too Much Evidence to Ignore: New Findings on the Impact of Quality Preschool at Scale," which will take place from 1:00 to 3:00 PM on October 16, 2013, at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC. Twitter hashtag: #toomuchevidence.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT
FCD is a national private philanthropy dedicated to the principle that all families should have the social and material resources to raise their children to be healthy, educated and productive members of their communities. http://www.fcd-us.org.
ABOUT THE SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT
SRCD is an interdisciplinary and international organization of developmental scientists that seeks to promote interdisciplinary research in child development, to foster the exchange of ideas among scientists and other professionals of various disciplines, and to encourage applications of research findings to improve the lives of children, youth and families. http://www.srcd.org.
ABOUT THE NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION
New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States. http://www.newamerica.net
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