Fast facts we all should know

Quality early education is vital to preparing children for school so they can succeed in school and in life. Listed below are several key facts that support continued investment in early education.

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By 18 months, the achievement gap between children of college-educated parents and of parents with less than high school appears. Source: Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University



About 58% of PA’s children under age five are considered at risk of school failure because they live in low-income families, are English language learners, or have disabilities or developmental delays.

Source: 2010 Census. Earning up to 300% of the poverty level. Pennsylvania recognizes children living in families earning between 200%-300% of the poverty level as high needs based on the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) analysis of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-K), which showed that children in this income group are underperforming, compared to their peers from lower income families, in the area of math and they are also significantly underperforming compared to their peers with family incomes above 300% of the federal poverty line.



Forty years of research shows that children receiving high quality early education are more likely to be prepared for and do better in school; graduate high school; attend college or job training; and have higher earnings. Sources: Abecedarian Project, Perry Preschool Project



High quality pre-kindergarten can reduce special education placements by nearly 50% through second grade Source: “Investments in Pennsylvania’s early childhood programs pay off now and later,” Pew Center on the States, Partnership for America’s Economic Success, March 2011


10 + 3

For every 10 jobs created in early education sector, three more jobs are created outside early education Source: America’s Edge. “Strengthening Pennsylvania’s Business through Investments in Early Care and Education,” 2011


7 of 10

More than seven out of 10 four-year olds in Head Start Supplemental, Keystone STARS 3 and 4, and PA Pre-K Counts programs ended the 2012-2013 school year with age-appropriate language, math and social skills
Source: Office of Child Development and Early Learning


$1 saves $7

Every $1 invested in quality early education saves $7 in special education, public assistance, corrections, and lost taxes.
Source: Chicago Longitudinal Study


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