“The sooner the better” is a good summary of how education benefits our youth. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that guarantees lifelong success, most research shows that a high quality early childhood education is a very powerful tool that improves academic ability, social skills and civil responsibility.
The impact of a high quality early childhood education has a disproportionate impact on skill building compared to the impact of other education systems. For example, if a child enters their formal schooling and is lacking in literacy or numeracy skills, it is very time consuming and expensive to catch them up to the rest of their classmates. However, when a child has been enrolled in a preschool program for a number of years, they will have been taught the skills they need to keep them apace with the rest of their cohort. It follows that literary and numerical catch-up is unnecessary.
One study that is widely cited within early childhood education circles is the HighScope Perry experiment that assigned 123 disadvantaged children to a control group or a high quality early childhood education program. Of the students that participated in the program, 65% graduated from high school, compared with 45% in the control group. By the age of 40, the annual income of those who were in the program was $20,800 compared with $15,300 in the control group. The study concluded by stating children in the program were more likely to be employed, raise their own children, own a home or car and far less likely to be arrested or use drugs.
Other research also shows that high quality preschool programs lead to income gains of 1/3 to 3.5% per year when the children who attended such programs are adults. High quality early education programs provide long-term benefits that outweigh the costs by a large margin. Fewer people in early childhood education programs need welfare support, become involved with crime or suffer from poor health than individuals who go without.
There are assuredly other factors that impact the success of one person as they progress with their life. However, the evidence is overwhelming when describing the benefits that a high quality early childhood education has on the future prospects of someone who has attended such a program.
The benefits are not just limited to individuals either. With higher income levels comes more investment in social and cultural infrastructure and higher economic output. With greater social and civil responsibility comes reduced crime levels. Parents who are considering enrolling their children in preschool should consider the benefits listed above and ask other parents whose children have finished an early childhood education about the impacts the program their children attended had.
Robyn Taylor Child Development Centre has witnessed the positive effects that our teaching method (The Robyn Taylor Teaching Method) has on our students. If you are looking to enrol, please call us on (02) 9705 8309 between 7:30am and 6:30pm Monday to Friday. We are always happy to answer any questions you have or schedule a site visit for you when you call.