Research Spotlight (Early Childhood)

New research stemming from the Perry Preschool Project experiment that began in the 1960s has identified positive outcomes for both the Perry participants, now in their mid-50s, and their children. These findings indicate that providing high-quality preschool targeted to disadvantaged children can have significant intergenerational effects on health, employment, education, and civic life, all of which may help break the cycle of poverty. For those attending Perry, Professor James Heckman and colleagues found significant increases in cognitive and socioemotional skills, employment, and health. Participants also were more likely to maintain a stable, two-parent home in which to raise their children, and males were less likely to be involved in criminal activity. Similarly, the children of Perry attendees were more likely to complete high school without suspension and have full-time employment or be self-employed than children of non-participants. Perry participants’ offspring were less likely to experience addiction, suspension from school, or arrest. The Perry Preschool: Intergenerational Effects Toolkit, which contains multiple resources related to this study, is available from the Heckman Equation website.

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Early Childhood Community of Practice E-Newsletter