Research Shows Intergenerational Benefits of Preschool

Many of us are familiar with the Perry Preschool or Abecedarian research that show the long-term impact that high-quality preschool can have on a child’s growth, development, and future. A new line of research goes deeper – beyond the children themselves – and looks at the impact of children whose parents received preschool education.

This research, “Breaking the Cycle? Intergenerational Effects of an Anti-Poverty Program in Early Childhood” cited striking data on the second-generation effects of preschool. Although the researchers said it’s too soon to conclude whether the second generation is no longer living in poverty and earning a good income, it showed that their offspring live significantly better in their young adult years than children of parents who did not attend preschool.


Among children whose mothers lived in a Head Start Community:

  • 90% graduated from high school
  • 69% attended some college
  • 13% became teen parents
  • 14% had been arrested or convicted

Conversely, among children whose mothers did NOT have access to Head Start:

  • 77% graduated from high school
  • 52% attended some college
  • 22% became teen parents
  • 30% had been arrested or convicted

Advocacy & Communication Solutions (ACS) is a subject matter expert in early childhood education and has helped numerous foundations, local and state governments, and nonprofits with communication, strategy development, advocacy, and capacity building in this area. ACS staff has seen first-hand the difference of a high quality early education by working with clients such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and those across the country in Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin.

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