Experts have concluded that early childhood education, from birth to three years old, changes life outcomes dramatically.
Recent studies, some of them initiated over thirty years ago but which are just now providing meaningful statistics show an amazing result. Not the result most of us would expect, which is that pre-school can help ready a child for regular school, but unforeseen results ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road or more.
In two controlled studies, one conducted in North Carolina, the other in Michigan, control groups of kids with and without pre-school were monitored for IQ, school performance, college entry, and much later life experiences. Perhaps to be expected, the pre-school group did consistently better in school. Perhaps more surprising, the pre-school group maintained a higher tested IQ through grammar and high school. And truly amazing, the pre-school group ended up with half the incarcerations, half the teen pregnancies, and four times the graduation rate from four-year colleges. Their incomes were 50% higher, their auto and home ownership rates were way above the control-group, and their divorce rates were way less.
The experts have now concluded that early childhood education, from birth (not age four as currently proposed for expanded government support), changes outcomes dramatically. Language turns out to be one critical factor – just helping infants and toddlers create the brain cells needed to process language is key to their development.
The program being considered is to bring together the power brokers in education to discuss how a combination of public and private initiatives could help our less advantaged citizens give their children a better start in life. At this stage we have nothing to report other than we are working on it, but it seems to be the type of project AdkAction.org loves. No politics, no opponents. No losers, only winners. AdkAction was invited to join with a number of local organizations to start an investigation into our pre-school systems, and we are proud of the part we played in laying the foundation for the start of the Birth to Three Alliance.
Visit the Birth to Three Alliance Website
The result of the regional investigation into our pre-school systems is a program called the BT3 Alliance. BT3 is championed and housed by the Adirondack Foundation.