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C. Review the Research

Knowing what works is an essential step in formulating any pre-k initiative. School board members should review the research on pre-k education and consult the latest studies to understand the impacts and risks associated with various early education interventions and strategies. This background will help your board members to formulate an action plan that is both realistic and relevant to the environment of your district.

Did you know...85% of a child’s brain development takes place by the age of five?

Research indicates that children of all races/ethnicities and income classes can benefit from a high-quality pre-kindergarten program. For many, pre-k can make the difference between struggling through school or doing well in the elementary grades and beyond. Numerous studies have shown both short- and long-term benefits for those who participate in high-quality pre-k. Children enrolled in quality programs not only demonstrate higher academic achievement in the elementary grades, but are far less likely to need costly instructional services down the road and far more likely to succeed in school, both academically and socially, than their peers who did not attend pre-k.

In addition, studies have shown that states and communities that choose to invest in high-quality programs can realize significant financial returns for years to come. Although estimates vary, implementation of a voluntary, universal preschool program for all students could result in an estimated long-term payback of $2 to $4 for every dollar spent. Reductions in special education placements and remediation alone can result in significant savings for your school district.

A host of pre-k research information is available on the Center for Public Education’s web site at www.centerforpubliceducation.org. A quick reference guide is also provided in the Tool Box below.

We gratefully acknowledge The Pew Charitable Trusts for its support of our work related to pre-kindergarten. The views expressed are those of the Center for Public Education and not necessarily those of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Tool Box

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