• Many studies have been carried out to determine the benefits of Preschool Centres, whether children attending preschool become better learners, and if so, how long they remain better learners than children who have not attended a preschool.


    • The positive effects on children's learning and development vary in size and persistence depending on the type of program offered.
    • Long-term improvements in school success, reduced delinquency and crime in childhood and adulthood, are produced by well-designed preschool education programs.
    • Whilst economically disadvantaged children reap long-term benefits, children from all socioeconomic backgrounds have been found to benefit from preschool education.
    • State-funded, effective preschool education programs for all children, can produce substantial educational, social, and economic benefits.
    • If a universal preschool program increased the enrollment of disadvantaged children, the achievement gap with more advantaged children might be reduced.


    An ongoing New Zealand project [2] started in 1993, focuses on a group of about 500 children who were almost 5 years old, and in early childhood education.


    The original purpose of the study was to determine whether -and how- Early Learning Centre helps children become lifelong learners. The project continues to collect data on young people at two-yearly intervals. It looks at the development of the students' cognitive competencies, as well as the development of their social and communication skills.


    After 11 years, the study has found that at age 16, some aspects of early childhood education continue to make a statistically visible contribution to young people's competency levels, over and above the contribution it had made to their performance levels at age near-5. The associations at age 16 however, were weaker on the whole, than they were at age 14.



    Research continues to underline the importance of providing children with high-quality early childhood education and shows that Preschool Centres do make children better learners.