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Early Childhood Education Programs

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  • Janet Currie

Abstract

This paper discusses early childhood education programs: their goals; effectiveness; optimal timing, targeting, and content; and costs and benefits. Early intervention has significant short- and medium-term benefits: most notably it reduces grade repetition and special education costs, and provides quality child care. The effects are greatest for more disadvantaged children. Some model programs have produced exciting improvements in educational attainment and earnings and have reduced welfare dependency and crime. The jury is still out on the long-term effects of Head Start, but Head Start would pay for itself if it produced a quarter of the long-term gains of model programs.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.2.213
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 15 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Pages: 213-238

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:15:y:2001:i:2:p:213-238

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.2.213
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  1. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  2. Robert J. LaLonde, 1995. "The Promise of Public Sector-Sponsored Training Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 149-168, Spring.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Janet Currie & V. Joseph Hotz, 2001. "Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Injury, Maternal Employment, and Child Care Policy," NBER Working Papers 8090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Janet Currie, 1998. "The Effect of Welfare on Child Outcomes: What We Know and What We Need to Know," JCPR Working Papers 26, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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