Study: Early Education Makes Difference

Jan 19, 2012

A new study out of UNC Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute shows that high-quality early childhood education has dramatic effects on quality of life.

Dave DeWitt: In academic circles, the Abecedarian Project is renowned for its rare length. For 30 years, researchers have followed the same group of high-risk, largely African-American children. Half received intensive pre-school and child care; the other half did not.

Ever since, the former group has shown significant academic progress and lower rates of teen-aged pregnancies.

In the latest report, the now-30-year old adults are four times as likely to have earned a college degree. 26 % of those who received early childhood education graduated from a 4-year college, as opposed to just 6 % for the control group.  The latest study appears in the journal Developmental Psychology.