ERIC Number: ED312033
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Quality Preschool Programs: A Long-Term Social Investment. Occasional Paper Number 5.
Weikart, David P.
This report analyzes the long-term benefits, to children and society, of high-quality early childhood education. Specifically, it explores the contribution which these programs can make as a long-term social investment and as a means of ameliorating the effects of poverty. Evidence for the outcomes of such programs comes from a long-term study of the Perry Preschool Project in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Disadvantaged black children (N=123) aged 3 and 4 were randomly assigned to an experimental group (that received a high-quality preschool education) or to a control group (that received no preschool training). The study, initiated in 1962, is now in long-term follow-up. The study indicates that good preschool programs can lead to consistent improvement in poor children's achievement throughout their school years, a reduced delinquency and arrest rate, a reduced teenage pregnancy rate, and decreased dependency on welfare. Case studies of the project's children reveal factors which contribute to successful life patterns. Factors that contribute to successful preschool programs include the curriculum, parent involvement, and program quality. Many states are developing early childhood programs and allocating funds for them. Several policy issues must be resolved if services are to be restructured in such a way that all will benefit. These issues include the allocation of resources, the maintenance of high quality early childhood programs, day care, needs of middle class children, and dangers of formal academic standards for young children, distrust of public schools by some agencies that serve children, and shortage of personnel. (RJC)
Descriptors: Disadvantaged Youth, Early Childhood Education, Longitudinal Studies, Outcomes of Education, Preschool Education, Program Effectiveness, Public Policy, Student Centered Curriculum, Young Children
Ford Foundation, Office of Communications, 320 East 43 Street, New York, NY 10017 (free).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.