Why is early learning important?

Early learning paves the way for learning at school and throughout life. What children learn in their first few years of life—and how they learn it—can have long-lasting effects on their success and health as children, teens, and adults.

Studies show that supporting children’s early learning can lead to:1,2,3

  • Higher test scores from preschool to age 21
  • Better grades in reading and math
  • A better chance of staying in school and going to college
  • Fewer teen pregnancies
  • Improved mental health
  • Lower risk of heart disease in adulthood
  • A longer lifespan


  1. Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. The Carolina Abecedarian Project: Groundbreaking follow-up studies. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from http://abc.fpg.unc.edu/groundbreaking-follow-studies external link
  2. Kaplan, R.M. (2014). Behavior change and reducing health disparities. Preventive Medicine, 68, 5–10.
  3. Reynolds, A. J., Temple, J. A., White, B. A., Ou, S. R., & Robertson, D. L. (2011). Age 26 cost-benefit analysis of the child-parent center early education program. Child Development, 82(1), 379–404.
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