The case for universal pre-K just got stronger

By: | May 18, 2021

According to the National Institute For Early Childhood Research, nearly half of all 3-year-olds and a third of all 4-year-olds in the United States were not enrolled in preschool in 2019. That’s in large part because many parents can’t afford it. Imagine a future where we changed that. A future where every American child had access to two years of preschool during a critical period of their mental development. How would their lives change? How would society change? If President Biden gets his way, and Congress agrees to spend $200 billion on his proposal for universal preschool, then we may begin to find out.

But it turns out, we kind of already know. In fact, a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research gives us a glimpse of what that world could look like. It adds to a burgeoning amount of high-quality research that shows just how valuable preschool is — and maybe not for the reasons you might think.

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