High-Quality, Full-Scale Preschool Programs Boost School Readiness and Produce Sustained Benefits
Mar 11, 2016
This report compiles the most-reliable research evidence on the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns. Our review draws on evidence from rigorous evaluations of full-scale U.S. preschool programs implemented at the national, state, and local levels.
Evidence of Impacts and Economic Returns from National, State, and Local Preschool Programs
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Cincinnati, Ohio, is one of a growing number of U.S. cities seeking to expand access to and raise the quality of preschool programs, especially for the city's most vulnerable children. To inform stakeholders regarding potential investments designed to expand preschool access and quality, this report compiles the most-reliable research evidence concerning the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns. Our review draws on evidence from rigorous evaluations of full-scale U.S. preschool programs implemented at the national, state, and local levels. We provide evidence for specific programs, as well as results from syntheses across multiple preschool program evaluations. We assemble evidence of the impacts of the preschool programs on children's school readiness. In cases where children have been followed beyond the preschool years, we also consider research regarding longer-term effects. Attention is also given to evidence of impacts for universal versus targeted programs and for programs of varying intensity.
This research was supported through a contract from the Cincinnati Business Committee and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati and was conducted jointly within RAND Education and RAND Labor and Population.
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