When you place your young son or daughter in an early child care program, you’re making a choice that will have positive effects for the rest of their lives. Experts have studied the benefits of early child care programs since the 1970s. While none of the studies have come up with identical results, each found only positive aspects for children from both low and middle-income families.
Improved Cognitive Development
Children who participate in early care programs experience early and long-term cognitive growth, including stronger language development. This helped close the school readiness gap.
Research by the Nonpartisan think tank, The Century Foundation found that children enrolled in quality Pre-K programs were able to enter kindergarten 7 to 10 months earlier than those who did not attend programs. They also documented large gains in literacy.
Improved Educational Outcomes
A Harvard University study concluded that early child care improved educational outcomes and that it was more cost-effective than intervention programs implemented in later years. Children placed in high-quality child care programs were rarely required to take special education classes or repeat a grade. They were also more likely to graduate from high school than children who didn’t have early education experiences.
A Brookings Institute research study found that early education increased the probability that a child would attend college and earn a degree, advanced degree, certification, or license.
Higher Lifetime Income
Several studies show that children who participated in early child care programs earned higher incomes as adults. This 5% to 10% gain was true for both low and middle-income children. The National Education Association explains one measurement theory that the cost of early child care produces a 12% return on the investment, better than most business investment programs.
Improved Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Growth
Children in early child care programs outpaced non-program children in socialization, emotional, and behavioral skills. They show higher self-esteem, self-control, better self-regulation and attention, and even better parenting skills. This is due, in part, to early education’s role in “shaping” a child’s brain.
The Brookings Institute study determined that this aspect of a child’s early education is reflected as children age. They show higher self-esteem, more self-control, and better parenting skills.
Benefits for Parents
Several studies found that the benefits of early child care programs helped parents as well. When a child is in a safe, reliable environment for daily care, the parents thrive as well. When their children have high-quality care, it gives them the stability they need to seek higher education and better job opportunities.
The Learning Center
At TLC, we provide high-quality, education-focused child care in a safe environment. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of early child care programs at The Learning Center, visit our contact page or call us at (833) 421-5470 to schedule a tour.