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Adult outcomes of sustained high-quality early childcare and education: Do they vary by family income?


Experimental research demonstrates sustained high-quality early-care and education (ECE) can mitigate the consequences of poverty into adulthood. However, the long-term effects of community-based ECE are less known. Using the 1991 NICHD SECCYD (n=994; 49.7% Female; 73.6% White, 10.6% African-American, 5.6% Latino, 10.2% Other), results show that ECE was associated with reduced disparities between low- and higher-income children’s educational attainment and wages at age 26. Disparities in college graduation were reduced the more months that low-income children spent in ECE (d=.19). For wages, disparities were reduced when children from low-income families attended sustained high-quality ECE (d=.19). Findings suggest that community-based ECE is linked to meaningful educational and life outcomes, and sustained high-quality ECE is particularly important for children from lower-income backgrounds. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
State(s)/Territories/Tribal Nation(s):
Arkansas; California; Kansas; Massachusetts; North Carolina; Pennsylvania; Virginia; Washington; Wisconsin

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