Impact of Quality Universal ECE

Megan Dye | Amanda Appis | Kelly Hartfield

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The impact and long-term results of universal early childhood education in states that implement it at a quality level will increase the academic and social results for poor and minority students.

In other words: What are the advantages of a quality ECE for poor and minority students in the long run?

Closing the Achievement Gap

Data from the Infant Health & Development program:

High Quality Universal - from birth to age 3
  • close achievement gap at 100% between ages 3 & 5
  • close achievement gap by 50% for children at age 8


Even programs that are targeted to minority/low income students are calculated to reduce the achievement gap, just not by as large of a percentage.

Question #1

How do you think pre-school can affect early diagnosis of learning disabilities?

High-Quality Pre-School Programs

Students who attend pre-school have better communication and social skills than their counterparts who did not attend school prior to Kindergarten.

At risk children who had a quality ECE program are eventually less likely to:
  • drop out of school
  • become teenage parents
  • be arrested for violent crime

Question #2

Knowing that a pre-school education would benefit your child, why do you think the percentage of children sent to pre-school is so low?

Long Term Results for Parents

Closing the achievement gap with quality ECE means that those students will eventually become parents and their children will have a better chance of developing their vocabulary and other developmental traits at the same or similar rate of non-minority peers.

In an article by New America Media, an immigrant mother (who can neither drive nor pay for preschool) comments on the woman who watches her daughters:

“She is a very nice lady, and loves my daughters. But, what can she teach them, when she didn’t have the chance to finish elementary school herself?” says De la Rosa, convinced that the achievement gap begins long before low-income children start school.

Question #3

How can parents equip their toddlers for pre-school and Kindergarten?