Research consistently finds that high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs promote children’s school readiness and other positive outcomes. This brief describes what’s known about the short- and long-term impacts of large public (i.e., at-scale) ECE programs in the United States for children prior to kindergarten entry – including what key features of programs lead to the best outcomes, and how to sustain program benefits as children grow older. This brief does not include the many smaller ECE programs, including model or demonstration programs in the U.S. and abroad, that have also been evaluated; please see other reports for information on the short- and long-term impacts of these programs.
Answers the questions:
- What are the short-term impacts of early care and education programs on children’s outcomes?
- What are the long-term impacts of early care and education programs on children’s outcomes?
- What do we know about the “fadeout” or “catch- up” phenomena in terms of sustaining impacts?
- How does participation in education during early childhood affect long-term outcomes?
- Do all children benefit from high-quality early care and education? Do some children benefit more?
- What are the key features of high-quality early care and education programs?
Source: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation