Children and Poverty: the Role of Preschool (NIEER)

This guest post, written by NIEER Senior Research Fellow Cynthia Lamy, highlights the effectiveness of high-quality preschool as a weapon against poverty. Lamy states that the benefits of high quality preschool exceed the costs of the programs, which is great for the children, their families, taxpayers, and for everyone, but this means much more than benefits to individuals, or even to school districts, or criminal justice systems.  This positive social return on investment also signals to us the possibility of an effective and efficient fight against poverty on a societal scale. She asks how different would American poverty be if every child had equal access to high quality educational experiences from as early as possible in their development, before the impact of poverty diminishes their potential? She also summarizes the mechanisms by which preschool can contribute to the fight against poverty, including the effect on children’s educational success, increased parental earnings and the potential for improving the quality of public educational systems.

Read it here.