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Study: Early Education Makes Difference

A new study out of UNC Chapel Hill's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute shows that high-quality early childhood education has dramatic effects on quality of life.

Dave DeWitt: In academic circles, the Abecedarian Project is renowned for its rare length. For 30 years, researchers have followed the same group of high-risk, largely African-American children. Half received intensive pre-school and child care; the other half did not.

Ever since, the former group has shown significant academic progress and lower rates of teen-aged pregnancies.

In the latest report, the now-30-year old adults are four times as likely to have earned a college degree. 26 % of those who received early childhood education graduated from a 4-year college, as opposed to just 6 % for the control group.  The latest study appears in the journal Developmental Psychology.

Dave DeWitt is WUNC's Supervising Editor for Politics and Education. As an editor, reporter, and producer he's covered politics, environment, education, sports, and a wide range of other topics.
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