Benefits and Outcomes of High-Quality Early Childhood Education

October 27, 2015


The Problem: Businesses need employees who are job-ready, team capable, and well-prepared – but we’re not getting them:

  • The majority of fourth and eighth graders are not proficient in math and reading in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
  • Fewer than one-third (32%) of students in all 65 participating countries and economies reached the baseline proficiency level on the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) mathematics assessment.
  • Only 29% of young people ages 17 to 24 would qualify to serve in the U.S. military. The rest could not meet the physical, behavioral, or educational standards for service – standards similar to those many employers use.

A Solution: This failing workforce pipeline can be repaired, but we have to start early. The foundation of many skills needed for 21st-century jobs is established in the earliest years.

  • Young children’s brains develop 700 synapses – neural connections that support learning and skills – every second. By age 3, a child’s brain has reached about 85% of its adult weight.
  • An overview of 56 studies across 23 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Central/South America found impacts of early childhood programs on health, IQ, and emotional development.
  • Children in the Chicago Child-Parent Centers (CPC) preschool were 29% more likely to graduate from high school, and the Perry Preschool Project children graduated 44% more often.
  • By age 30, individuals served by the Abecedarian preschool program were four times more likely to graduate college (and 42% more likely to be consistently employed).
  • Child care and preschool professionals generally spend most of their earnings locally. States realize roughly $2 in local spending for each child care dollar spent.

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