In spite of the enactment of the 2003 Head Start Reauthorization Act. Vigorous debates, largely headed by opponents of Head Start and other publicly funded early childhood education programs continues, even though there are existing data to support the argument that these programs do have long lasting economic benefits to children who participate in these programs and the society in general. There is also evidence that early intervention programs provide support for parents, and the family as a whole. In the discussion, the author will offer evidence of such supportive data. Recent comments by the current governor of New Jersey Chris Christie that "pre-school is nothing more that a babysitting service" is an example, of how opponents of state mandated pre-k programs are miss-informed about the true value and purpose of such programs. Recent budget-cuts in Abbot and early intervention programs for special needs children, by the New Jersey department of education for children ages 3-5 all across the state is detrimental to the continued development of children who are eligible for these programs.
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History of Early Childhood Education
Over the last 40 years, there have been various debates disputing the effectiveness of early childhood education programs especially those targeting low -income minority communities. Some opponents of early childhood education argue that initial gains in the participation in a comprehensive pre-school program dissipate as early as the third grade, while proponents of the continued funding of early childhood education like Head start programs argue that the benefits are prolonged and sustained throughout adulthood. The idea of early intervention was born in the shadow of Brown v Board of Education in the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation case that affirmed the universal right of all children to a descent education (Craig & Ramey, 1998); this prompted the institution of Head Start program in 1964 by the Johnson administration as a response to eradicating poverty. For generations, because of slavery, African American children, women and men were denied access to education and literacy; after slavery was abolished; social institutions systematically reinforced unequal and disparate developmental Outcomes through social neglect and underfuding of black schools (Ramey&Ramey1998).
Ramey noted that during the 1959 presidential campaign, the highly popular magazine Life ran a haunting portrait of life in the Appalachian Mountains, depicting the terrible cognitive and social life situations of poor White families in West Virginia and other predominantly Southern states in the Appalachian chain. This time, the social class card, rather than the race card, was played. Many of the early settlers in the Appalachian region until recently-were descendants of impoverished, lower class English, Scottish, and Irish immigrants. The lower-class children from the hardscrabble farms and hollows were often poorly nourished, undereducated, and cognitively delayed, thereby dispelling the initial wisdom that a high IQ was only associated with whites only, that black children were cognitively inferior to their white counterparts. (Ramey &Ramey 1998). In 1957, the US was jolted by the news that the Russians had launched a small satellite called the Sputnik into the earth's orbit, with the capability to orbit the earth, gather, and record radio frequencies and signals. This actions was seen as a national security issue with defense concerns, this action spurred the US department of Education to conclude that the US educational system needed an upgrade. As a result, educational innovation became a national priority. (Ramey & Ramey 1998).
The educational reform efforts centered heavily on kindergarten through grades 12, and university education. This created a climate for the development of an educational policy, which included pre-school and early intervention. The also influenced the federal governments role in creating Head start programs for children of poverty and also the creation of early intervention programs for children with disabilities.(Ramey & Ramey, 1998).
The term early intervention refers to an extensive range of activities, specifically designed to enhance a child's development. Early intervention starts with a comprehensive assessment of the child and families strengths and needs, and extends through the provision of appropriate supports and services to meet the child's needs. (Ramey & Ramey 1998). In 1975, Congress passed landmark legislation to ensure that all children would receive a free and appropriate education known originally as The Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Wikipedia, 2010). This led to the creation of a complex special-education system throughout the United States ( Schroeder, Schroeder, & Landesman, 1987) .Over the years, the reauthorization of this legislation, titled the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, has included dramatic reforms. First, public school systems were required to serve children with disabilities starting at age three--several years earlier than schools typically provide universal education. Next, this legislation created an option for states to serve children from birth through three years of age (referred to as Part H services from 1987 to 1996 and now reclassified as Part C under the 1997 reauthorization). This led to the creation of a large interagency array of services and supports in all 50 states and U.S. territories, broadly referred to as the early intervention system. All infants and toddlers with diagnosed developmental disabilities 1 are eligible for early intervention. In addition, states have the option to extend early intervention supports to children considered at risk (e.g., very low birth weight infants, children born to mothers with mental retardation, and children from multirisk families).
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This federally initiated early intervention system was advanced by the combined efforts of parents, advocacy organizations, and early childhood specialists who recognized the primacy of early experience and the potential to prevent secondary Conditions attributable to inadequate treatment of primary Conditions. (Ramey & Ramey, 1998). Congress further enacted legislation to support children and families living below the federal poverty level. One of the best known and funded interventions fall under the Head Start legislation and include Head Start programs for three- and four-year-olds, Comprehensive Child Development Programs, and the recently funded Early Head Start programs for infants and toddlers. In 1996, Head Start spent $3.6 billion to serve more than 750,000 children, 68% of whom were between four and five years old. An interesting feature of Head Start is that all programs must include children with disabilities--a minimum of 10%--although Head Start's definition of disabilities differs from that used by the Department of Education and IDEA. Furthermore, Head Start children with disabilities do not need to meet the income eligibility criterion (i.e., living in poverty at time of enrollment).
In addition to these two major independent federal initiatives in early intervention, there are literally hundreds of early intervention programs funded by local, private, and other federal sources, encompassing home visiting programs and center-based programs for high-risk children and families. (Ramey & Ramey 1998). Early intervention is seen as essential to prevent poor intellectual outcomes in cognitive development for children who did not receive adequate stimulation, in the early years of life. From the authors own personal experience with parents and children with special needs, there continues to be an increase in satisfaction with parents who have seen improvements in their Childs competency in cognition, and other gains, from participating in an intensive early childhood education program. Recent studies of early childhood investments have shown remarkable success to indicate that early childhood investments have a lasting effect on the long run in the skills level of the American worker. Learning is a dynamic process, and it is most effective when it begins at a young age through adulthood. Government interventions at an early age that attempt to mend the damage done by dysfunctional families have been highly effective( Lynch,2004) An example of one of such studies is on the Abecedarian project, a longitudinal prospective study of the benefits of early education programs for children from low-income families. Its outcomes demonstrated that high quality pre-School education could make a dramatic difference in the lives of young adults.
Results also show higher cognitive test scores in reading and math skills (Campbell,et all, 2002). The Entergy Corporation, in Baton Rouge Louisiana conducted a study, which suggested that providing quality pre-school education to low -income children, is an economic imperative, which would in turn generate a number of important benefits to taxpayers including less reliance on public assistance programs and fewer unemployment claims among other benefits (Oppenhiem & Macgregor, 2006). This study is important because recent budget proposals to reduce funding for early childhood education programs are counter-productive. In a report published by the National Institute of Early Education Research at Rutgers University titled the state of pre-school 2009, the author W.Stephen Barnet noted that states have cut funding for the 2010-2011 school year thereby reducing funding per child. He also noted that in the state of Arizona the program is facing elimination as state legislators try to cope with budget shortfalls, (Pre-School Matters, 2010). Steven Barnet and Clive Belfield examine the effects of pre-school education on social mobility in the United States; they noted in their study that increased investments in pre-school programs would end up serving all children and not just the poorest. They also pointed that benefits would exceed cost and there would be more economic growth. (Barnet & Belfield, 2006)
Throughout the pre-school period, children who attended the program earned significantly higher scores than children who did not attend any pre-school programs. Assessments at the end of the school-age treatment phase indicated that reading and mathematics scores increased as a linear function of treatment years (Campbell et al., 2002). Lynn A Karoly, Rebecca Kilburn and Jill S Cannon authored a study published by the Rand Research Cooperation, titled "Proven benefits of early intervention programs". The authors observed that the first few years in a child's life is critical in laying the foundation for a cognitive , behavioral, social and self -regulatory functions and abilities.(Karoly et al, 2005) . They noted that in spite of this, many children face various stressors throughout those years that can mitigate against their healthy well-being and development. They suggested that further investment in early childhood programs that provide supports for the family as a whole can mitigate against those factors that place children at risk for poor outcomes. Some of the key findings of the study suggest that children who participated in a quality early intervention program have good high school graduation rates, etc among others. Many of the benefits from early childhood interventions programs can be translated into dollar value when compared with program costs. For example, if school outcomes improve, fewer resources are spent on grade repetition or special education classes. If improvements in school performance lead to higher educational attainment and subsequent economic success in adulthood, the government may benefit from higher tax revenues and reduced outlays for social welfare programs and the criminal justice system because of improved economic outcomes. (Karoly et al. 2005). In a study funded by the Pew Charitable Research center and authored by E, Frede, K Jung, W.Barnett and A Figueras titled Abbots Pre-school Program Longitudinal Effects study (APPLES). The study's task was to determine if learning gains from pre- kindergarten programs in New Jersey's State funded Abbot pre-school programs continued beyond elementary school. Results reveal that by the end of the second grade children who attended a high quality pre-school program continue to outperform their peers in language, literacy and mathematics. (Frede et al. 2009) The result of this study further indicates that participation in a quality pre-school education program can make significant improvements in a child's development and learning. (Frede et al, 2009)
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In a Pew Research article published in May 2010, and authored by Carol Shipp of the National Institute of Education Research titled "Recession hits state pre-school programs: more cuts expected." The article highlights how the current US recession is affecting pre-school programs. Further budget cuts and reduction in funding of programs have been proposed; some states Arizona have already made significant cuts to their pre-school budgets for the 2011 school year and other states like New Jersey state governments and legislators are proposing further budget cuts to the state run Abbot program. The article explored the need for government to make as a priority the continued funding of quality pre-school programs stating that the consequences of not making pre-school funding of utmost importance is that there is the danger of high school dropout rates increases, lower income as adults and adult health problems. The article suggested that investing in pre-school education is a pure economic stimulus (Shipp, 2010 )
In accessing the economic benefits of investing in an early childhood education program, Robert G Lynch (2004) in his study titled Exceptional returns, economic, fiscal, and social benefits of investing in early childhood development evaluated the social benefits of investing in early childhood development. In this study, he highlighted four controlled studies with follow up of participants with a control group. This quasi-experimental design demonstrated that there are significant benefits from investing in early childhood programs.(Lynch , 2004) The studies are The Perry Pre-School Project, The Prenatal/Early infancy project, The Abecedarian Early childhood Intervention and the Chicago Child-Parent Center. The studies all show tremendous results from investing in early childhood programs. In a figure analysis of the four programs, the author found benefit cost ratios that varies from a minimum of 3.78-to-1 to a high of 8.7-to-1. From a public policy standpoint investment in early childhood education programs pay for themselves. It does this by generating very high rate return for participants, and the government in the form of reduced service cost and higher tax payments by their families. (R.G Lynch, 2004). For example,
"A Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis study determined that
Annual real rates of return on public investments in the Perry Preschool
Program were 12% for the non-participating public and government and
Four% for participants, so that total returns exceeded 16%. Thus, it is advantageous
Even for non-participating taxpayers to pay for these programs". (Lynch, 2004 pg 7).
In a similar study titled "Early childhood Education for All" sponsored by the legal momentum family initiative and the MIT workplace center (Calman et al,2004) . . On December 9 and 10, 2004, Legal Momentum and the MIT Workplace Center at the Sloan School of Management sponsored a conference, "The Economic Impacts of Child Care and Early
Education: Financing Solutions for the Future," that led to this report. It brought together some 80 scholars, experts and activists from around the country to examine the economics of early childhood education and to determine how to effectively present this new investment understanding to policymakers and voters. The partners in this effort were Legal Momentum's Family Initiative and the MIT Workplace Center; co-sponsors were The National Economic Development and Law Center, The Early Care and Education Collaborative and The Center for Policy Alternatives. (Calman Et al, 2005). Child Care Association estimates that the industry employs over 900,000 people as providers and teachers, with another 2 million working as "family, friend and neighbor" childcare providers. Its conservative calculation of the licensed childcare industry's direct revenues in 2002 is $43 billion. However, if informal child care and after school and summer enrichment programs are included, the total revenues would likely exceed $100 billion (Calman Et al, 2005). From 1962 to 1967, the High/Scope Perry Preschool
Program in Ypsilanti, Michigan identified a sample of 123 low-income African-American children who were assessed to be at high risk of school failure. Of these children, 58 were randomly selected to attend a high quality two-year preschool program for 2- and 3-year-olds; the others attended no
Preschool program. Teachers in the program had bachelor's degrees and certification in education. Each teacher was assigned no more than eight students, and met with them for two and a half hours a day, five days a week. The classroom and daily routine were organized so that children could plan and do their own activities; this active engagement in learning-individually, in small groups, and in whole-class groups-was central to the curriculum. A final, key, element of the program was that teachers made home visits every two weeks.
Researchers at High/Scope Perry have followed the two groups for the past 40 years, and the findings are compelling: those who attended quality preschool outperform those who did not in education, economic performance, crime prevention, family relations, and health. Indeed, the investment made in their early education has yielded growing results throughout their lifetimes. (Calman Et al, 2005. At age, 40 program groups when compared with non-program group showed the following results. Program participants graduated from high school (65 vs. 45 percent);
â€¢ were more likely to be employed (76 vs. 62 percent);
â€¢ had significantly higher median annual earnings ($20,800 vs. $15,300)
â€¢ had a higher percentage of homeowners (37 vs. 28 percent)
â€¢ were more likely to have a savings account (76 vs. 50 percent);
â€¢ had significantly fewer lifetime arrests (36 vs. 55 percent arrested five or more times) and significantly fewer months in prison or jail by age 40 (28 vs. 52 percent ever sentenced
Evaluating the return on investment, the High/Scope Perry researchers
conclude that, 40 years after the preschool experience, the public gained $12.90 for every dollar spent on the program. Much of the savings came from dollars not spent on incarceration; there were also savings to the public in lower special education costs; taxes paid to public coffers because of higher earnings, and savings in public assistance costs. As to the benefit to the participants: program participants earned 14 percent more per person than they would have otherwise-$156,490 more over their lifetimes. The cost of the two-year program itself was $15,166 per child. The Abecedarian study tells a similar story. The Carolina Abecedarian Study began in 1972 with 112 North Carolina children, mostly African-American, who was born between 1972 and 1977 and whose family situations were believed to put the children at risk of poor intellectual and social development. In infancy (between 6 to 12 weeks of age), the children were randomly assigned to either a quality preschool program, or to no program. The most recent follow-up of the students, which has been on going, took place when they were 21years old. From the toddler years through age 21, children who participated in the quality preschool program had higher test scores in IQ and achievement. They had been less likely to repeat grades and less likely to be placed in costly special education classes-real economic savings for taxpayers. They had been more likely to complete high school. By age 21, they had completed more years of education and were more likely to attend a four-year college. The long-term cost/benefit analysis of the Abecedarian study conducted by Leonard Masse and Steven Barnett differs from the High/Scope Perry analysis in that the researchers looked not only at the economic impact on the children, but also on their mothers. They found that because their children were enrolled for five years in high quality, full-time care and education, the mothers had increased opportunities to obtain employment and training. As a result, mothers in the program group earned significantly more than mothers in the control group. Masse and Barnett estimate that, annually, the program mothers earned $3750 per year more for each of the 21 years of the study-$78,750 more than the non-program mothers. There is a strong case for the investment of substantial public dollars to provide quality early care and education. However, the questions remain of where and how should those dollars be invested? In addition, what is the cost-benefit when public investment dollars for economic development and education are scarce? Clearly, at-risk children benefit from quality early education. . (Calman Et al, 2005.
The benefits of early education do not stop at the poverty line: conference participants Deborah Phillips and Steve Barnett tell us that quality pre-K improves school readiness for all children. Steve Barnett points out those well-to-do parents are well aware of the benefits: fully 78 percent of people who earn more than $100,000 a year send their preschoolers to pre-K, as compared to less than half of those who earn less than $50,000 per year (see chart below). The value is such that in New York City a few years ago, the tabloids were filled with the story of a powerful businessman who allegedly engaged in shady financial dealings as a favor to his boss, who he hoped would use his influence to help the businessman's twins into one of the city's best preschools.28 While his actions were extreme, many New York parents sympathized with his desire! What's more, as the benefits of quality early education become more widely known, the increase in the numbers of children attending preschool from families with a mother who is not in the labor force has risen at a rate strikingly similar to those of children whose mothers are in the labor force. (Calman Et al, 2005. 20
Figure 3 (though I would add that this needs formatting and probably would be better if you simply recreated it in Word).01
Pre-school Participation by Income: 2001 Source: Robert G Lynch (2004)
The evidence is clear. Quality early education benefits all social
In addition, economic groups of children: universally available quality
Early education would benefit everyone. And, it would be the
Most cost-effective economic investment. Utilizing models developed in evaluating the 40th-year High Scope/Perry study, but being far more conservative in assumptions about what economic gains would be,. There would be substantial financial pay-off for taxpayers even if poor students across the country produced only half the benefits that the Perry preschool children
Did, and if middle class students got only one-quarter. A program that was universal, that served all 3- and 4-year olds would cost $50 billion dollars, but over the next 40 years would create over $213 billion in value, for a net gain of $163 billion.
What if middle class children generate only 10 percent (not 25 percent?)
Of the economic benefits experienced by poor children?
Universal quality preschool would still pay off: with a cost of $49.9
Billion, the economic benefit to society would be $136.5 billion, for a net gain of $86.6 billion. (Calman & Whelan, 2005)
In New York State, researcher Clive Belfield of Columbia University Teachers College found similar substantial savings for taxpayers from reductions in special education, grade repetition, and reduced abuse and neglect of young children. He posed the question of the economic impact on the state from investment in universally available quality early education programs. Measuring what he calls "medium-term" cost savings (Calman & Whelan, 2005) .
The economic benefits of investing and increasing funding in an early childhood education program cannot be overstated. The current economic downturn is making it harder for states and school districts with huge budget deficits to continue to support early childhood education programs. In New Jersey, especially in the last few months many school districts have seen significant reduction in financial support for state funded pre-k programs. The author's district was especially hit in the last few months, because the district not only cut funding for pre-school programs; it also stopped services for children with special need from ages 3-5 as a result of the budget crisis most states are going through. In order to fill this vacuum, the Federal government and congress can come in to provide emergency funding so these programs can continue to provide services to children, because as highlighted in the earlier, the cost benefit ratio to tax payers of providing quality early childhood education programs is relatively in returns when compared to cost.
Figure 2 Source High /Scope Perry Preschool Study (2010)
Perry Preschool Project (Ypsilanti, Michigan, 1962-1967)
Description: One hundred and twenty-three African American children with low IQs (in the 70 to 85 range) and from families with low socioeconomic status were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one enrolled in a preschool program and one not. Those enrolled in preschool attended for two school years at ages three and four. Services included daily 2.5-hour classes and weekly 1.5-hour home visits with mother and child. Evaluations of the children were performed annually until the children reached age 11, and then again at ages 14, 15, 19, and 27. A forthcoming analysis will follow the children through age 41.
Lynch, (2004) summarizes some of the statistically outcomes of the study. When he noted that, By age 14, the preschoolers had significantly higher achievement scores, and by age 19, they had higher literacy scores and grade point averages, when compared to non-program participants(Lynch,2004).The differences in achievement appear to have grown over time. By age 27, 71% of the preschoolers had graduated from high school versus 54% of those not placed in preschool. Seven percent of the preschoolers had been arrested five or more times as compared to 35% of those who had not participated in preschool. Seven percent of the preschoolers had been arrested for drug-related offenses compared with 25% of the non-preschoolers. By age 27, significantly fewer preschoolers had ever been arrested (57% versus 69% of the control group), and the average number of arrests was about half (2.3 lifetime arrests versus 4.6 for the control group).
In addition, the children in the program had significantly better lifetime earnings opportunities. About 29% of preschoolers earned $2,000 or more per month compared to 7% of the non-preschoolers. The employment rate was 71% for the preschoolers compared to just 59% for the non-preschoolers. At age 27, average monthly earnings were 59% higher for the program participants ($1,219 versus $766 in 1993 dollars); 36% of preschoolers owned their own home, and 30% owned a second car. Only 13% of non-preschoolers owned their own home and 13% owned a second car. Just 59% of preschoolers had received welfare or other social services in the past 10 years versus 80% of the non-preschoolers. More dramatically, only 15% of preschoolers were receiving public assistance at age 27 compared to 32% of the non-preschoolers.(Lynch,2004)
Finally, 57% of the female Perry Preschool participants were single mothers compared to 83% of the non-preschoolers. Preliminary evidence for the children at age 41 indicates, "That program participants continued to commit half as many violent crimes as non-participants, and that subsequently, the number
Of them in prison, and the time they spent there, was substantially less than for non-participants." (Lynch. 2004)
A benefit-cost analysis by Barnett (1993) found $108,002 in benefits and
$12,356 in costs per preschool participant (in 1992 dollars), a benefit-cost -ratio of 8.74-to-1. Of the total benefits, the public received $88,433 and $19,570 accrued to the program participants. The benefits to the public included $70,381saved by potential victims of crimes never committed (based on typical settlements for such crimes) and in reduced justice system costs; $8,846 in higher
Taxes paid because of higher participants' earnings; $7,155 saved in education
Costs due primarily to lower grade retention and use of special education; and
$2,918 in lower welfare costs. These benefits were partly offset by $868 in
Increased costs for the public funding of higher education. The benefits to the
Program participants included $21,485 in higher earnings and fringe benefits
In addition, $738 in childcare offset by a loss of $2,653 in welfare payments.
Another benefit-cost analysis of the Perry Preschool Project found substantial
Net benefits. Karoly et al. (1998) found $49,972 in benefits and $12,148
In program costs in 1996 dollars-a benefit-cost ratio of 4.1-to-1. Karoly ET
al.'s estimates of benefits differ from those of Barnett mostly because they
Exclude the benefits that derive from reductions in the intangible losses due to
Crime: the pain and suffering that crime victims experience. Thus, Barnett calculates $70,381 in benefits from less crime, while Karoly et al. estimate the
Statistically significant benefits of the Perry Preschool Project
Grade retention or special education, age 10 17% 38%
High school graduation, age 27 71% 54%
Arrested five or more times 7% 35%
Arrested for drug-related offenses 7% 25%
Arrested, age 27 57% 69%
Average number of arrests, age 27 2.3 4.6
Earn $2,000 or more per month, age 27 29% 7%
Employment rate 71% 59%
Average monthly earning, age 27 $1,219 $766
Homeownership 36% 13%
Own second car 30% 13%
Receive Welfare or social services 59% 80%
Receiving public assistance, age 27 15% 32%
Single mothers 57% 83
Source: Barnett (1993), Schweinhart (1993), and Karoly (1998, 2001
Significance of studying Topic;
The study of the topic is relevant because in the last year most states and municipalities have been cutting funding for early childhood programs and other educational programs , because of budget deficits and other financial issues many states and mucipalities are facing throughout the US. Steve Burnett, co- director of the National Institute of Early Education Research , in a February 2010 article published in the NIEER publication, noted that many states responded to their budget shortfalls by reducing pre -school funding per child and reducing support for professional development. He also noted that legislators in North Carolina sought to dismantle the states higher quality program for a lesser one , sighting budget shortfalls as an excuse and reason. Ten states he noted , many with well-established programs were particularly hit hard . In Ohio he noted" Eliminated Early Learning Initiative, its higher quality program launched in 2005 to raise school readiness through provision of full day, year-round pre-K for children of working families. Illinois, which made national headlines in recent years for its aggressive pursuit of preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, cut funding by 10 percent but then saw more than half of the cut restored by the governor. Michigan cut state pre-K by 7 percent and added a provision to the budget enabling school districts to use their state pre-K funds to make up for cuts in K-12 education. As a result, experts there predict pre-K enrollments will decline more than 7 percent." (Burnet,2010) According to the annual survey of state funded pre-school programs Burnet noted that there was a pause in the increase in funding for state pre-school programs , he argued that enrollment has been cut back to its lowest level in recent years , other states he noted have cut funding and quality drastically.( Burnet, 2010). "With more families facing economic hardship, publicly supported preschool is more important than ever," Barnett said. He cited new research published in the journal Child Development showing that low family income has disproportionately more negative effects on preschool-age children than on older children and adolescents. Those effects include higher school dropout rates, lower income as adults, and greater adult health problems.(Burnet,2010). Barnet also argued," it is bad policy and counter productive not to invest in early childhood development , so as to preserve the quality of our future workforce" (Burnett,2010) . In a 2007 New Jersey Abbot Preschool Longitudinal effects study on the (APPLES), Freede et al summarized that there continues to be sustained gains in children who participated in state supported preschool programs beyond kindergarten.(Frede et al 2007). This study is important because research continues to show that, continued investment in a quality early childhood education programs, not only have long-term lasting effects , but also economic benefits to society as a whole in the form future revenue increases by a well educated workforce. Less reliance of public welfare programs and fewer burdens on the justice system. A cohort study on Head start family and child experience survey (FACES ) , funded by the US department of Health and Human service , and based on data made available by the National Institute of early Education research. Is a periodic ongoing longitudinal study of program performance . The study employed a battery of child assessments across multiple developmental domains , which included cognitive , social, emotional and physical. The study focuses on the following objectives (1) the skills and abilities of Head Start children, (2) how Head Start children's skills and abilities compare with preschool children
nationally, (3) Head Start children's readiness for and subsequent performance in kindergarten, and (4) the characteristics of the children's home and classroom environments.(FACES, 2006) The researchers used a multi-stage clustered sample, with the first three of four stages (programs, centers, classrooms) being selected with probability Sample: proportion to size. At the final stage, children were sampled with equal
probability within classrooms. Sixty programs were selected, two centers per program, and up to three classrooms per center for 415 classrooms. Within each classroom, children were sampled with the goal
of obtaining 10 children with parental consent per classroom, for a total of 3,817 children. At each stage of sampling, FACES 2006 used implicit and explicit stratification and a sequential sampling technique based on
a procedure developed by Chromy (1979).(Tarullo et al ,2006)