New Evidence That Early Child Education Programs Can Have Long-Term Positive Benefits

A new study led by researchers at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University, finds that early childhood education programs in low-income neighborhoods can have a positive impact on academic achievement later on in students’ educational pathway.

Researchers examined the long-term impacts of an early childhood program called the Chicago School Readiness Project. The program targeted children’s self-regulation skills while also raising the quality of inner-city Head Start classrooms serving high-risk neighborhoods in Chicago. Researchers have been following the children involved in the study since the beginning of preschool through the high school years.

Initial results found that the program boosted children’s early school readiness, but these positive effects slipped away when children entered elementary school. But the latest follow-up study found that adolescent follow-up data taken 10 to 11 years after program completion showed that the program had positive long-term effects on students’ executive function and grades.

The full study, “The Chicago School Readiness Project: Examining the Long-Term Impacts of an Early Childhood Intervention,” was published on PLOS ONE. It may be accessed here.

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