High-Quality Early Education and Care Bring Health Benefits 30 Years Later

3/27/2014

With substantial implications for health care and prevention policy, FPG is reporting that children who received high-quality early care and education in FPG’s Abecedarian Project from birth until age 5 enjoy better physical health in their mid-30s than peers who did not attend the childcare-based program.

The findings appear in Science and are the result of FPG’s collaboration with scientists from the University College London and the University of Chicago, where Nobel laureate James J. Heckman spearheaded an intricate statistical analysis of data from the Abecedarian Project. Not only did FPG and Heckman’s team determine that people who had received high-quality early care and education in the 1970s through the project are healthier now—significant measures also indicate better health lies ahead for them.

Previous findings from the Abecedarian Project have been instrumental in demonstrating that high-quality early education and care for at-risk children can have positive, long-lasting effects on cognitive functioning and academic achievement that extend well into adulthood. However, the new study differs by examining physical measures of health.

Source: Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute

Available at: http://fpg.unc.edu/news/high-quality-early-education-and-care-bring-health-benefits-30-years-later

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