WASHINGTON, DC – In response to today’s event hosted by The Brookings Institution, What we know about the effects of pre-K in 6 consensus statements, the following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association:
“The National Head Start Association is pleased to see top researchers agree about the immediate, positive impacts of high-quality early learning on children’s readiness for school and life. While the research examined in the Brookings analysis does not include Head Start, it is important to add that virtually all studies find that Head Start generates these same immediate results, providing vulnerable children and families with a critical advantage. Head Start’s standards ensure that high-quality, community-driven services are provided across the country in a way that state and local programs are typically unable to match.
NHSA questions the finding of inconsistent long-term impacts. In fact, these outcomes in the report are not long-term, but rather intermediate impacts. Third grade test scores are a relevant measure, but they are not the end goal, full extent, nor final measure of success in a child’s education or life progression. Truly long-term impacts also include high school graduation rates, college access and completion, lifelong health, and workforce engagement and earnings. Successful adults are a critical component of our society in the long-run, and extensive research proves that graduates of Head Start succeed: they graduate high school and attend and complete post-secondary programs at higher rates; are less likely to be incarcerated; and even maintain better health status as adults than non-Head Start participants.”