New Early Learning Research Finds Multigenerational Gains for Participants
May 31, 2019

With at least 18 new and returning governors making issues such as child care and pre-K part of their campaign pitches to voters last fall, there is significant momentum on early learning policies. Advocates in Colorado recently celebrated the passage of full-day kindergarten, while over 10 additional Network organizations identified early learning as a priority in 2019 legislative sessions. 

While some of the findings on early learning have been mixed, new research from the University of Chicago offers additional fodder. A new intergenerational analysis from economist James Heckman on the participants of the well-known Perry Preschool Project shows that the benefits of early learning have long-term “significant, positive spillover treatment effects” for disadvantaged children and society.

The research finds that targeting disadvantaged children through high-quality opportunities and home visits–programs similar to what PIE Network member Stand for Children Texas has been using since 2015–has several positive effects, including some that spread over multiple generations:

  • More likely to graduate from high school
  • More likely to hold a job and have higher career earnings
  • Development of character skills such as SEL
  • Children of participants less likely to be suspended from school
  • Children of participants more likely to complete high school and be employed full-time

Advocates who want to learn more about the research can find the full report, including a toolkit of resources available for download, here. For those wanting to connect with other advocates working on these issues, please reach out.

 

 


Chris Nikolic

Chris is PIE Network's Associate, Research and Advancement


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