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ERIC Number: ED567739
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 2
Trends in Income-Related Gaps in Enrollment in Early Childhood Education: 1968 to 2013
Magnuson, Katherine; Waldfogel, Jane
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The academic achievement gap between children from the lowest- and highest-income families appears to have risen in recent decades in the United States. Such income-related disparities in academic skills are already present when children enter elementary school, suggesting that the explanation for changing gaps can be traced to changing experiences in children's earliest years. In this paper, the authors explore to what extent changes in enrollment in center-based early childhood education have contributed to this trend. Motivating the analysis are two stylized facts: (1) early childhood education, particularly when it is high-quality, is associated with higher levels of school readiness and subsequent achievement; and (2) historically, children from low-income families have been less likely to be enrolled in such programs than their more affluent peers. Using data on family income and school enrollment from the annual October Current Population Survey (CPS), the authors document the trends in enrollment in center-based early childhood education, which are referred to as preschool, for 3- and 4-year-old children from 1968 to the present, to examine to what extent gaps in enrollment between low-, middle-, and high-income children have widened, narrowed, or remained the same. The paper also reviews published data to examine the extent to which enrollment in early childhood education has become more or less consequential for later school achievement over this time period. Figures are appended. [SREE documents are structured abstracts of SREE conference symposium, panel, and paper or poster submissions.]
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)