Decades of research point to the need for a universal preschool education program in the U.S. to help give our nation's children a sound cognitive and social foundation on which to build future educational and life successes. In addition to enhanced school readiness and improved academic performance, participation in high quality preschool programs has been linked with reductions in grade retentions and school drop out rates, and cost savings associated with a diminished need for remedial educational services and justice services. This 2006 book brings together nationally renowned experts from the fields of psychology, education, economics and political science to present a compelling case for expanded access to preschool services. They describe the social, educational, and economic benefits for the nation as a whole that may result from the implementation of a universal preschool program in America, and provide guiding principles upon which such a system can best be founded.
Introduction; 1. The universal preschool movement; 2. School readiness: defining the goal for universal preschool; 3. Economic returns of investments in preschool education Arthur J. Reynolds and Judy A. Temple; 4. The need for universal prekindergarten for children in poverty with Marguerite Malakoff; 5. The need for universal preschool access for children not living in poverty with Marguerite Malakoff; 6. Program quality, intensity, and duration in preschool education; 7. A whole child approach: the importance of social and emotional development; 8. Parent involvement in preschool Christopher C. Henrich and Ramona Blackman-Jones; 9. Professioal development issues in universal prekindergarten Kelly L. Maxwell and Richard M. Clifford; 10. What the school of the 21st century can teach us about universal preschool with Matia Finn-Stevenson; 11. A place for head start in a world of universal preschool with Sally J. Styfco; 12. A model universal prekindergarten program; Summary and recommendations.
Winner, 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education