The Generational Impact of High Quality Early Education

July 10, 2019

Posted By
E3 Elevate Early Education

Sixty years ago, The Perry Preschool Project aimed to study the lifetime impacts of high quality early education experiences.  The participants in the study were socioecomically and developmentally disadvantaged African American children.  The 123 participants were ages 3-4 and all had below average IQ scores. They were enrolled in a two-year high quality early learning program that incorporated family support and home visiting.  Over time, this group was compared to a group that didn’t receive such education and support. Researchers tracked the children’s development throughout their lives and documented the findings.  Recently, economist James Heckman took at look at the long-term impacts of the project and his conclusions are fascinating.

The participants had significantly better life outcomes in mid-life including:

  • Increased employment
  • Better cognitive and socioemotional skills
  • Healthier children

The participants, who are now in their 50’s,  are also seeing positive generational effects.  Their children are completing college at higher rates and are more likely to be employed despite living in similar neighborhoods as non-participants’ children.

Heckman concludes that targeting disadvantaged children to receive high quality early education and family support is an effective strategy to help close achievement and education gaps.  The results of this study dispel the notion that an individual’s future is defined by his zip code.  Positive outcomes are a result of increasing parental engagement and bolstering families where they live.

Heckman states in an interview with that, “High quality early education for disadvantaged children builds valuable personal and interpersonal skills, contributes to stronger families and can be an effective way to lift generations out of poverty.”

We agree!  And, the results we are seeing in The New E3 School prove that high quality impacts children and builds stronger families.  Check out our latest video to hear directly from families about the power of high quality early education.