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Early Childhood Education for Low-Income Students: A Review of the Evidence and Benefit-Cost Analysis UPDATE

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Chasya Hoagland, Danielle Fumia, Martine Reynolds - December 2019

The WSIPP Board of Directors and the 2019 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to update previous findings on early childhood education. In 2013, the legislature directed WSIPP to conduct an outcome evaluation and return on investment analysis of the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). As part of that assignment, WSIPP produced a report summarizing the national research literature on the long-term effectiveness of early childhood education programs and conducting a benefit-cost analysis for these programs.

This report updates those previous findings and presents new findings for three types of programs: 1) state early childhood education programs targeting low-income children, 2) universal state early childhood education programs, and 3) Head Start.

We find that increases in academic achievement for participants in these programs are likely to produce long-term monetary benefits that outweigh the costs.

Report ID: 19-12-2201
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