We ask a lot of early childhood programs: we want them to foster academic development, teach social skills, build character, and provide child care. And there are big expectations for their effects, encouraged by the successes of the Perry Preschool Project and the Abecedarian Project. In recent years, however, evaluations of the effects of some early childhood programs, most notably the Head Start Impact Study, have disappointed.
We need to invest in early childhood programs while being honest about what is required to produce the outcomes we want, and about what size effects current programs are likely to produce.
Please visit National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) for the complete blog post.