Universal Preschool Research
We've compiled research regarding the education of children ages three to five,
inclusive of preschool, kindergarten and early education studies and put it all in
one, easy-to-find place. In this section, Preschool Research is right at your
Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare
Ottawa and the provinces should use their spending powers to ensure access to reasonable quality childcare programs for "at risk" children, rather than launch universal childcare, says a Commentary released today by the C.D. Howe Institute.
Childcare programs targeted on disadvantaged families could generate significant benefits, says the paper, Let's Walk before We Run: Cautionary Advice on Childcare, by John Richards, Professor, Public Policy Program, at Simon Fraser University and Matthew Brzozowski, Assistant Professor, Economics, at the University of Western Ontario. While studies show childcare programs benefit children from low-income or single-parent families, who are likely to be disadvantaged in terms of preparation for formal schooling, the net benefits for children from stable, middle-class homes are doubtful, according to the study. Why do "at risk" children clearly benefit? Evidence from US studies suggests that benefits are a function of the gap between the quality of the childcare centre and the home as a learning environment.
August 11, 2006
[More Results from C.D. Howe Institute [pdf]]
Is Universal Preschool Beneficial? An Assessment of RAND Corporation's Analysis and Proposals for California
Almost two-thirds of California families currently choose to send their 4-year-olds to preschool.Of those who do, almost half choose a preschool program operated by the state of California, while the other half choose a privately operated preschool.
If Proposition 82, an initiative on the
June ballot, is implemented those figures will radically change. Most family- and other privately owned
preschools will vanish, replaced by government-run, taxpayer-funded preschools. This report assesses RAND Corporation's cost benefit analysis and finds that it significantly
overestimates the upsides and drastically underestimates the downsides of universal preschool and
the California proposal. Using RAND's own data and alternative assumptions based on the studies they reference, it is easy to demonstrate that universal preschool generates losses of 25 to 30 cents for every dollar spent.
May 30, 2006
[More Results from Reason Foundation [pdf]]
Universal Preschool Is No Golden Ticket: Why Government Should Not Enter the Preschool Business
Across the country legislators are deciding whether to require public school districts to provide no-fee
prekindergarten classes for all three- and four-year-olds.
Georgia and New York have implemented universal preschool
programs for four-year-olds.
Experience provides little reason to believe universal preschool would significantly benefit children, regardless of family income. For nearly 40 years, local, state, and
federal governments and diverse private sources have funded early intervention programs for low-income children, and benefits to the children have been few and fleeting. There
is also evidence that middle-class children gain little, if anything, from preschool.
February 9, 1999
[More Results from CATO Institute]