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Large-scale study shows power of pre-k
Date:3/6/2014

Scientists from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) today reported that Georgia's Pre-K Program produces significant positive outcomes for children, regardless of family income level or English language skills. FPG's research on nearly 1,200 children reveals strong results in language, literacy, math, and general knowledge for students enrolled in the state's universal pre-k program.

"These findings demonstrate compelling evidence for the impact of Georgia's statewide early education program on children's school readiness skills," said Ellen Peisner-Feinberg, the FPG senior scientist who led the evaluation.

The FPG team's results follow President Obama's recent State of the Union Address, during which he called for the expansion of pre-k programs regardless of Congressional support. "Thirty states have raised pre-k funding on their own," said the President.

Georgia's Pre-K Program is one of the country's oldest such state-funded programs, serving over 81,000 4-year-olds annually in a variety of settings. Established in 1995, the program enrolls children from all income levels and charges families no fees to participate.

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) oversees Georgia's Pre-K Program, providing standards for classroom instruction, child assessment, and other program services. The program runs on a school-year model, with one adult per 11 children in each classroom, and lead teachers must have a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or a related field.

Peisner-Feinberg said the average scores for children in Georgia's Pre-K Program were above the national norm on key measures of language, literacy, and math. However, children not enrolled in the program scored at or below the national norm.

"The results were most pronounced in key language and literacy skills," Peisner-Feinberg said. "These are important precursors for later re
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Contact: Dave Shaw
Dave@unc.edu
919-621-3933
Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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Large-scale study shows power of pre-k
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