Research: Pre-K Programs Like Those Proposed in Biden's BBB Plan Greatly Enhance Life Achievement



New research published this week in the American Economic Review found that participation in early childhood education programs like those included in President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Act greatly enhances educational development.

American Economics Review: "Using the county roll-out of Head Start between 1965 and 1980 and age-eligibility cutoffs for school entry, we find that Head Start generated large increases in adult human capital and economic self-sufficiency, including a 0.65-year increase in schooling, a 2.7 percent increase in high school completion, an 8.5 percent increase in college enrollment, and a 39 percent increase in college completion. These estimates imply sizable, long-term returns to investments in means-tested, public preschool programs."

This study builds on the results of earlier research. A study published in June, confirms the long-term gains from pre-K programs, even for the next generation.

New York Times: "Expanding free early childhood education could lead to greater earnings, higher levels of education and lower levels of participation in crime, according to research from James J. Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago.

And, Biden's Build Back Better pre-k initiative is meant to address America's relative weakness in educating children under 5.

Washington Post: "When it comes to educating kids under 5, the United States spends one of the lowest amounts of any developed nation in the world, according to data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development."

In Germany and Britain 90% of pre-k kids receive early childhood education while the US has now even fallen behind Mexico regarding the percentage of children in formal preschool programs.


Funding in Biden's plan would greatly expand access to early childhood education, on a tiered scale based on income.

Vox: "Taken together with the child care investments proposed in the bill, most experts agree that the Build Back Better bill’s goals are a boon for children and families and beneficial for society at large."
“It’s important for folks to understand how inaccessible and inequitable the system is currently,” [Rasheed] Malik [Director of early childhood policy at the Center for American Progress] said. “It is determined by a family’s income right now. Current childcare dollars that do go to preschools and care for younger kids and Head Start combined really can’t even serve 1/10th of the number of low-income kids who really need it.”

There is also funding to increase the availability of high quality pre-k programs nationwide. Building capacity is a key component of the plan.


#education #research

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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