The Intersection

Duke Research Fellow Explores Lasting Benefits of Early Childhood Education

October 26, 2021

Dr. Robert C. Carr, research scientist at Duke Sanford School of Public Policy’s Center for Child and Family Policy, published a new paper about sustaining the benefits of early childhood education into the elementary years.

The paper explores the “ECE boost,” in which children attending high-quality ECE programs show higher rates of foundational skill development, compared to their peers participating in low-quality programs or no programs at all. When children learn foundational skills at an earlier age, they enter kindergarten ready to build off those skills — a process described as “skills beget skills.”

It is possible that the ECE boost will wane as children progress through elementary school. However, Dr. Carr explains that it is possible for ECE programs to have lasting impacts, indicating that high-quality elementary schools could be key in sustaining the ECE boost.

Read Dr. Carr’s paper, “The Benefits of Early Childhood Education Can Persist in the Long Run,” then watch our Early Efforts webinar on the topic, which originally aired November 2, 2021.

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