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The Benefits of Early Childhood Education Essay

The writer of Proverbs 22:6 wrote: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it”. Early Education has benefits that can follow well into adult hood. Early childhood education is the organized practice of educating those who are in early childhood. According to the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), early childhood spans the human life from birth to age eight (Early Childhood Education, para. 1). Before 1960, educating young children was primarily dealt with in the home.

Today most children spend a large part of their day away from their parents. Most attend a center based program until kindergarten. Attendance at a center-based program is becoming the norm at ages three and four. In 1999, center-based program participation was 70% at age four and 45% at age three. This paper will focus on the importance of early education on children from infancy to age 4. Early education has been shown to increase benefits in academic achievement, delinquency, career success and economic growth. Early education has been shown to positively effect academic achievement.

Most studies have resulted in a lifetime lasting increase in IQ by 5 IQ points. Multiple meta- analyses have been conducted and found that preschool education can raise acheivment test scores from the 30th percentile to the 50th percentile. A recent study proved that early education has significant lasting benefits on school progress (ie. Grade repetition, placement in special education and high school graduation rate). The Abecedarian study evaluated the effects of full day year round educational programs on children around four months to kindergarten entry.

The study followed 111 children from the time they started the program through age 21. The program had a great effect on grade repetition and placement in special education, decreasing both by 23%. Both high school graduation rates and college enrollment increased by 16 % compared to other children. It is widely recognized and accepted that children that enroll in early education programs excel academically compared to children that are not enrolled in an educational program until kindergarten. Early education programs have shown overall benefits to children’s behavior that continues through adulthood.

The strongest effects are produced by practices that influence children’s attitudes. Studies have shown that adults that once were enrolled in early education programs are less likely to commit a crime or do drugs. Children who participated in the early education programs for 1 or 2 years had a lower rates of juvenile arrest (16. 9% vs 25. 1%), violent arrests (9. 0% vs 15. 3). According to the High/scope Perry Preschool study 55% of children that have not received early childhood education were five times more likely to be arrested compared to 36% of those that had received early educational services.

Research indicates the intervention need to happen early because most youth who display delinquent behavior in early childhood are more likely to commit a crime. Children in early childhood education programs display more positive relationships with their peers than those that did not participate. Preschoolers develop a basic understanding of the consequences of their behavior and are able to display behavior accepted to the social norm. Career success is one of the most profound benefits of early childhood education. Early education builds a better educated workforce.

Children in early education programs are more likely to graduate from highschool and hold jobs. They are also less likely to be on welfare. Two studies that have followed preschooler to adulthood (High/Scoop Perry and Abecedarian) have proven that early education provides benefits to adult career success. The High/Scoop Perry researchers followed two groups for 40 years and found that children that participated in early childhood education programs were more likely to be employed (76% vs. 62%). The educated children have a high percentage of home owners (37% vs. 28%).

Studies have also shown an increase in median annual earnings ($20,800 vs. $15,300). The economy can also benefit for children being enrolled in early childhood educational programs. Adults that were once in early childhood programs are more productive adults and earn better wages. Due to this increase it will create increased tax revenue and decrease dependency on welfare and other government programs. Early childhood education helps prepare children to succeed in school and become better adults; they are more likely to earn more, pay more taxes and commit fewer crimes.

For every dollar that is invented in educating children taxpayers can save up to $13. 00 for every dollar spent. There is also increase in parent productivity. Parents that otherwise had no childcare option would gain the opportunity to enter the work force. Investing in early education increases economic development in the form of jobs and the sell of goods and services. In the diagram below the High/Scope Perry researchers conclude that, 40 years after being enrolled in an early education program, the economy gained $12. 90 for every dollar spent on early childhood eduation.

Most of the savings came from money not spent on jail cost; due to the lower rate of special education less tax funding went to special education programs, and there was a substainal decrease in dependence on walfare. (Schweinhart, N. D)[pic] Early childhood education programs have many positive effects, effects that can be substantial. Numerous studies find not only immediate gains, but lasting benefits for in academic achievement, delinquency, career success and economic growth. Early childhood education has proven a lifetime increase in IQ by 5 IQ points.

Such programs can create positive social relationships for children. Investing in our children from infancy will not only increase their chances of becoming productive adults, it will ensure a better tomorrow for everyone. The effects can be immediate, by boosting the economy through job creation and the sell of goods and services. Investing in early education is not only a great choice it’s the best choice to ensure a better and brighter tomorrow. REFERENCES (2008). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Early_childhood_education#Benefits_of_Early_Childhood_Education SCHULMAN, K. , & BARNETT, W.

S. (n. d. ). WHAT IMPACTS DOES PRESCHOOL EDUCATION HAVE ON PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND RELATED SOCIAL BEHAVIOR?. National Institute for Early Education Research. Masse, L. N. , & Barnett, W. S. (2002). A benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian Early Childhood Intervention. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University. Gorey, K. M. (2001). Early childhood education: A meta-analytic affirmation of the short- and long-term benefits of educational opportunity. School Psychology Quarterly, 16 (1), 9-30. AMA Commision on Youth at Risk. (N. D). American Bar Association.

Retrieved from http://www. abanet. org/youthatrisk/factsheets/earlyeducation. shtml Schweinhart, L. J. , Montie, J. , Xiang, Z. , Barnett, W. S. , Belfield, C. R. , & Nores, M. (2005) Lifetime Effects: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 40. Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press. Calman, L. J. , & Tarr-Whelan, L. (2005, April). Early Childhood Education for All A Wise Investment. The Economic Impacts of Child Care and Early Education: Financing Solutions for the Future, (), 11-13. (N. D). Part2-Chapter1-Schweinhart. Retrieved from http://siteresources. worldbank. org/INTECD/Resources/Part2-Chapter1-Schweinhart. pdf.


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