ERIC Number: ED365478
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Lasting Benefits of Preschool Programs. ERIC Digest.
Schweinhart, Lawrence J.
This digest reviews various longitudinal studies that examined the long-term effects of programs that served young children living in poverty and at risk of school failure. Concerning program effects on school performance, all studies that collected data on children's intellectual performance found that their program groups had better intellectual performance than their no-program groups during the program and for a year or two thereafter. Results of various studies indicated that, compared to the no-program group, program group members were less likely to be placed in special education classes and to be retained in grade, and had higher high school graduation rates. Concerning the programs' effects on community behavior, one study found that, compared to the no-program group, program group members: (1) had fewer criminal arrests; (2) spent less time on probation; (3) reported higher monthly earnings; (4) were more likely to own a home and a second car; and (5) received less welfare assistance or other social services as adults. One study that analyzed the costs and benefits of a preschool program found significant returns to taxpayers from savings in later schooling costs, higher taxes paid by program participants because of their later higher earnings, savings in welfare assistance, and savings to the criminal justice system and to potential victims of crimes. These studies suggest that high-quality programs for young children produce long-term benefits because they empower young children to carry out their own learning activities; parents to work with teachers in supporting children's development; and teachers to engage in practices that support children and parents. (BC)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.