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Early Childhood Education Programs

  • Janet Currie

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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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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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 8054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  4. 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.
  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. 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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