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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  • 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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    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.15.2.213
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    2. 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.
    3. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 999-1012.
    4. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    5. David Blau, 2003. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 443-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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