Monday, October 29, 2012

Reading Research Monday: The Positive Effects of Preschool

This recent Planet Money story on NPR instantly caught my attention:  Why Preschool Can Save the World. The episode discusses “decades-long studies that found preschool made a huge difference in the lives of poor children. And [they speak with] a Nobel prize-winning economist who says that spending public money on preschool produces a huge return on investment.

It is fascinating to look at the results of the studies published in this area.  It is also important to note that there are multiple studies that have the same or similar findings, showing that the main study discussed in the above podcast isn’t a fluke.  Through research (resources listed below) preschool has repeatedly been shown to have a positive effect in many aspects of students’ lives who are considered “at-risk” or who are economically disadvantaged.

For example, high-quality preschools have been shown to positively effect students in the following ways:
  1. Higher test scores from ages 7-14
  2. Higher grade point averages
  3. More likely to graduate from high school
  4. More likely to be on grade level at age 14
  5. More likely to have an IQ of 90+ at age 5
  6. Less misconduct at ages 15 and 19
  7. Lower incidence of fighting and violent behavior
  8. Lower incidence of property damage
  9. Fewer police contacts
  10. Less likely to get arrested 5+ times by age 40
  11. Less likely to be on public assistance
  12. More likely to earn $20k+ at 40
  13. More likely to own a home
  14. More likely to own a car
  15. More likely to have a savings account
The effects of high quality education can be truly amazing!

Here are just a few more studies/resources on the topic:


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am always looking to show Boards, Non-Profit Directors, and others why Preschool is a game changer.

    First in Maine

    1. The NPR Podcast has a great discussion about how funding preschools now is a great investment and will pay off in the future!


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