Thursday, February 16, 2006

High-Quality Early Childhood Education Provides Clear Long-Term Economic Benefits

Note: Ellen Galinsky knows her stuff. :) I had the opportunity to hear her speak at an NAEYC conference and that was yeeeears ago that she was pushing these same ideas that are now taken for granted as necessary for high quality programs...

High-quality early childhood education programs provide measurable economic benefits, on-going research by the Committee for Economic Development (CED), a business-led public policy group, has found.

CED's latest paper, The Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs: What Makes the Difference?, by Ellen Galinsky, President of the Families and Work Institute, a New York City based research organization, examines the factors associated with high-quality early education programs. Ms. Galinsky examined three well-known, high-quality early education programs -- the High/Scope Perry Preschool project, the Carolina Abcedarian Project and Chicago's Child-Parent Centers (CPC) -- and for one of the first times, has examined what those programs did to have such lasting impact decades later, relying, in part, on interviews with the principal investigators of those programs.

"The Galinsky paper reinforces that high-quality programs are a prerequisite if we expect early childhood education programs to generate future economic returns," said Charles E.M. Kolb, President of CED. "Determining key characteristics of quality Pre-Kindergarten education is an important piece of the argument for investments in early education programs in this country, and this research does just that. Other studies show public benefits of around seven dollars and more for every dollar invested in early childhood education and the Galinsky research shows what common factors can be found in these quality programs."

Findings of The Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs: What Makes the Difference? include: All three programs studied had common factors that contributed to remarkable and enduring effects and return on investment. Some of those basic factors are known:

Where this paper makes its greatest contribution is that it goes beyond the basics to explain the programs' long-term success:

This paper follows the January 10, 2006 New York City conference, Building the Economic Case for Investments in Preschool, a comprehensive forum attended by over 200 business leaders and education experts to discuss progress in local, state and national efforts to establish universal, quality pre- kindergarten for all American children.

The Benefits of High-Quality Early Childhood Education Programs: What makes the Difference?, as well as materials on CED's early childhood education project, including the groundbreaking 2002 report, Preschool for All: Investing in a Productive and Just Society, can be found at www.ced.org.

CED is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of more than 200 business leaders and university presidents. Since 1942, its research and policy programs have addressed many of the nation's most pressing economic and social issues, including education reform, workforce competitiveness, campaign finance, health care, and global trade and finance. CED promotes policies to produce increased productivity and living standards, greater and more equal opportunity for every citizen, and an improved quality of life for all.

Source: Committee for Economic Development

No comments: