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Common Research in the World of Early Learning

Below are studies supporting the many benefits of Early Learning in an individual's life.  Select the buttons for further information.

Fraser Mustard: Early Years Study 3 - Making Decisions, Taking Action

The Early Years Study 3 documents the social, economic and scientific rationale for increased investments in early childhood education. It also introduces the Early Childhood Education Report to monitor the funding, policy, access and quality of early education programming.Together, the three Early Years studies argue that if we truly wish to provide our children with an equal opportunity to maximize their potential, it is vital that we do everything we can to enhance their early development.

The Perry Preschool Project

This is a longitudinal study that spanned over 40 years – and include comparative groups of children who received preschool, and children who did not. The major conclusion of this midlife phase of the Perry Preschool research study is that high-quality preschool programs for young children living in poverty contribute to their intellectual and social development in child-hood and their school success, economic performance, and reduced commission of crime in adulthood. This study confirms that these findings extend not only to young adults, but also to adults in midlife.

The Abecedarian Study

At age 21, the treated group had maintained statistically significant advantages both in intellectual test performance and in scores on academic tests of reading and mathematics, and the treated group also had attained more years of education. In addition, recipients of the Abecedarian curriculum were more likely to attend a 4-year college or university, more likely either to be in school or to have a skilled job, or both. They also were less likely to be teen parents, less likely to smoke marijuana, and less likely to report depressive symptoms, when compared to individuals in the control group. At age 30, the treated group was more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree, hold a job, and delay parenthood, among other positive differences from their peers.  Age 35 brought blockbuster findings about health.

Chicago Longitudinal Study

The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, tracked the progress of more than 1,500 children from low-income neighborhoods in Chicago, from the time they entered preschool in 1983 and 1984 in Child-Parent Centers (CPC) until roughly 30 years later. The children were part of the Chicago Longitudinal Study, one of the longest-running follow-ups of early childhood intervention.

Brain Architecture

As noted in the powerpoint presentation last night, there was a video on Brain Architecture from Harvard, and shared in partnership with the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative. The video can also be found on the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative website:

This video demonstrates the important relationship between brain development and early childhood experiences. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the things we experience in the first years of life affects how our brains are built. Healthy, positive interactions between children and caregivers create sturdy brain architecture and a strong base that can support more complex structures later life. In contrast, adverse experiences such as abuse, neglect, and violence can disrupt brain development. The toxic stress resulting from these experiences can have long-term negative consequences on both physical and mental health.

Long-Term Gains: Pre-K Programs Lead to Furthered Education Later in Life

This study included more than 1500 children in a Chicago-based program called Child-Parent Centers who received a structured math and literacy program, in addition to regular parental involvement.  It demonstrated that by the age 35, these children reached a higher level of education than did others enrolled in other preschool programs.