ERIC Number: ED262903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: N/A
The Preschool Challenge. High/Scope Early Childhood Policy Papers, No. 4.
Schweinhart, Lawrence J.
This paper describes the problem and consequences of preschool poverty and outlines the potential contributions of high quality preschool child development programs towards lessening the magnitude of the problem. Data indicate that among children under 6 years of age one in four is now living in poverty, and in 17 states more than one fourth of preschool-aged children live in poverty. Poor children tend to fail in school and drop out before high school graduation. High school dropouts are likely candidates for poverty in their adult lives. Research studies indicate that preschool child development programs can help prevent scholastic failure and reduce other social problems. Further, well-documented cost-benefit analysis indicates that preschool programs can pay for themselves. At the present time, 29 percent of the nation's poor 3- and 4-year-olds are enrolled in preschool programs that provide educational activities, though not all of these programs are of the quality necessary to produce extensive social benefits. In view of the fact that federal and state governments spend over 2 billion dollars a year for preschool programs, it is important to insure the quality of such programs so that they can lead to long-term benefits. (RH)
Descriptors: Compensatory Education, Competence, Cost Effectiveness, Day Care, Developmental Programs, Early Childhood Education, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, Government Role, Intervention, Longitudinal Studies, Outcomes of Education, Position Papers, Poverty, Preschool Children, Preschool Education, Program Effectiveness, Social Problems
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, Ypsilanti, MI.