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Starting early: The benefits of attending early childhood education programs at age 3


This investigation considered the short-term benefits of early childhood education participation at age 3 for 1,213 children from low-income families living in a large and linguistically diverse county. Although no benefits emerged for executive functioning, children who participated in formal early childhood programs at the age of 3 entered prekindergarten the following year demonstrating stronger academic skills and less optimal social behavior than their peers with no earlier educational experience. However, these academic benefits were short-lived and did not persist through the end of prekindergarten, in large part because children who did not attend these programs at age 3 caught up with their classmates who did. Roughly a quarter of this convergence in academics was attributed to children’s subsequent classroom experiences. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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