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Why is early learning important?

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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 Web Site Policy [top]
  2. Kaplan, R.M. (2014). Behavior change and reducing health disparities. Preventive Medicine, 68, 5–10. [top]
  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. [top]

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