Top 5 Benefits of Early Childhood Education

By DullesMoms, Aug 2023

Although formal education generally begins with kindergarten or first grade, research increasingly suggests that the foundation for academic success is laid far earlier in life. This makes early childhood education (typically 3-8 years old) an easy choice!

Cognitive Development
Studies have shown that high-quality early childhood education can significantly improve cognitive outcomes for children. Research from the National Institute for Early Education Research indicates that children enrolled in a quality pre-kindergarten program have better language, cognitive, and social skills than those who do not attend (Barnett, 2008).

The early years are a time when the brain is remarkably plastic, and enriched learning environments can profoundly impact a child’s cognitive skills, enhancing problem-solving abilities, focus, and memory.

Emotional & Social Skills
Early childhood education also significantly affects a child’s emotional and social development. Young children learn to manage frustrations, make friends, and resolve conflicts in a controlled, supportive environment. A Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child report emphasizes early education’s importance in promoting emotional well-being and effective social skills (Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000).

Encouragement of Lifelong Learning
Instilling a love for learning from a young age is a remarkable gift that keeps on giving. Research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development suggests that early education significantly encourages a positive attitude toward lifelong learning (OECD, 2012).

Greater Academic Achievement
Several longitudinal studies indicate that early childhood education can lead to higher educational attainment and better job prospects in adulthood. A well-known study by the HighScope Perry Preschool Project found that individuals who attended a high-quality preschool program in their early years had higher earnings, were more likely to hold a job, and were less likely to commit crimes than those who did not attend (Schweinhart et al., 2005).

Improved Health Outcomes
Physical education and early exposure to healthy habits in preschool set the stage for better long-term health. According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who attend high-quality early education programs are more likely to have better health outcomes in adulthood, including lower rates of chronic diseases (Council on School Health, 2016).

National Institute for Early Education Research, National Academies Press, OECD Publishing, HighScope Press, Council on School Health (2016)