Intensive Early Childhood Program Leads to Gains in Adulthood: Greater College Attendance, Lower Crime and Depression
Lower income children who participated in an intensive early childhood education program showed higher rates of educational achievement, and lower rates of serious crimes and depression, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Sanchez: Lower income children who participated in an intensive early childhood education program showed higher rates of educational achievement, and lower rates of serious crimes and depression, according to a study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health. By becoming heavily involved in this intensive educational program participants achieved academic success from age 3 through the duration of college and beyond; Dr. James Griffin, Director of the Early Learning & School Readiness Program, at NICHD said parental involvement was a key component to the program's success.
Griffin: They really stressed parent involvement. They had the parents come into the classroom, they had them help out with field trips and they even offered services to the parents. Like helping them get their high school equivalency degree, their GED, parent child training, so they really did involve the parents.
Sanchez: The Child-Parent Centers program in the Chicago Public School System provided students with intensive instruction in subjects such as Math and reading in combination with educational field trips. The study followed children from age 3 or 4 through 24; however children only attended the program from pre-kindergarten through third grade. Researchers found that early investment in a child's life was highly associated with high academic success, a high economic status, low to no crime involvement, and good mental health.
Griffin: The children from a very young age were encouraged by their parents that education was a way out of the kind of poverty that they were experiencing. So what you see at age 24 is that they have less depression, probably because they're just a little bit more optimistic about life.
Sanchez: The study showed that children who completed the program had a greater appreciation for education and saw it as a vital tool for success which had enduring effects into adulthood. The CPC program also offers career development skills workshops, professional training and has a low teacher to student ratio and emphasizes oral and written communication. The findings of this study were published in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. From the National Institutes of Health I'm Frances Sanchez in Bethesda, Maryland.
About This Audio Report
Reporter: Frances Sanchez
Sound Bite: Dr. James Griffin
Topic: Early Childhood