High Quality Early Education:
Good for Children, Good for the Economy
Policy Brief March 3, 2017
Authored by Paula Smith, Jacqueline Larson, and Taylor Scott
This policy brief came together in response to the inquiries of legislators on the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) as part of our Research-to-Policy Collaboration. There was an interest in better understanding what conditions enhance positive outcomes associated with preschool education, including the quality of implementation. Below are the highlights stemming from this brief, and the full text can be found here.
Children in high-risk families will benefit the most from Head Start.
Head Start benefits associated with test scores may fade over time; however, despite that fade, studies have demonstrated that Head Start children have better outcomes later in life (e.g., higher graduation rates).
To explain complex longitudinal findings, future research should explore how children’s social-emotional development may be a key predictor of success later in life.
Our understanding of which aspects of preschool quality relate to positive child outcomes is somewhat limited; future research should refine quality measurement tools.
To ensure that public funds are targeted towards the quality factors that have already been identified, federal efforts should use indicators of classroom quality related to positive child outcomes.