Research backs up the value of pre-school
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Washington, D.C. – All six democratic presidential candidates who took the stage for Tuesday’s debate in Iowa agreed on one thing: all American children deserve universal pre-school.
Dr. Valora Washington, Ph.D. and CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition couldn’t have been more pleased that the issue has become part of the national debate. “Widely recognized research has already established that children who experience quality early childhood education are significantly less likely to be arrested, more likely to graduate high school and earn higher wages, and significantly less likely to use illegal substances. The benefits to society are more than clear,” Washington said.
In fact, a cost-benefit analysis performed as part of the Perry Preschool Study showed that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the economic return to society was over $16 – a better rate of return than the average stock market investment.
Dr. Washington added, “It’s time for the U.S. to invest in its children by fully funding universal pre-school. That means subsidies or other financial incentives so that parents can afford quality childcare, as well as equitable salaries for pre-school teachers.”
Currently, pre-school teachers earn about half as much as elementary school teachers and many are paid so poorly that they qualify for public assistance. In fact, the average pre-school teacher earns less than a hairdresser, a mail order clerk or a pest-control worker, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
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“Our pre-school teachers help develop our most precious resource – our children – into capable, contributing members of society,” Washington said. “They deserve better.”