The Facts About Early Care and Education

Children enrolled in quality early learning programs are already on track for success by the time they enter kindergarten because they’re more prepared for school. And research shows that success will compound throughout their lives, as they are more likely to attend college and earn higher wages than children who were not enrolled in a quality early education program.

According to research, effective early childhood education programs have been shown to generate total benefits to society as high as $7 for every dollar invested.

FACT: Quality Early Education Matters

  • Intelligence and social skills start developing at an early age1
  • Cognitive abilities determine economic success1
  • 95 percent of California’s kindergarten teachers say children who went to preschool were more prepared for kindergarten3
  • Children from low-income families who attend preschool are 4.6 times more likely to get a college degree4
  • Quality preschool education offers one of the highest returns on any public investment—over $7 for every dollar spent4
  • By 18 months of age, toddlers from disadvantaged families are already several months behind more advantaged children in language proficiency2
  • Children who attend quality early education programs earn up to $2,000 more a month1
  • Children who attend preschool are less likely to repeat grades, need special education, or get into trouble with the law4
  • Children who attend preschool enter kindergarten with significantly better reading and math skills than children who do not attend preschool5


FACT: Orange County Needs Incredible Early Education

  • Each year there are 38,000 children born in the county
  • The primary reason that parents seek out child care for their children is employment (41%) and 21% of parents seek care because they are trying to find a job
  • Of the 514,640 children ages 0-12 in Orange County, 330,947 or 64% have parents in the workforce
  • There are 840 licensed child care center sites in Orange County and 1,583 licensed family child care homes; this is only enough space to serve 25% of the children with parents in the labor force

​1. Heckman, J. J. (2000). Fostering human capital. Talk presented at Aaron Wildavsky Forum, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley.
2. Anne Fernald (2012).  SES differences in language processing skill and vocabulary at 18 months. Stanford University, Palo Alto.
3. Preschool California, (2005) Praise for Preschool: California Teachers Say All Children Will Benefit. Preschool California, Oakland.
4.Campbell, F. A., Pungello, E. P., Burchinal, M., Kainz, K., Pan, Y., Wasik, B. H., Ramey, C. T. (2012). Adult outcomes as a function of an early childhood educational program: An Abecedarian Project follow-up.  Developmental Psychology.48, 1033-1043.
5. Barnett, W. S., Jung, K., Youn, M., & Frede, C. (2013). Abbott Preschool Program Longitudinal Effects Study: Fifth grade follow-up. Rutgers University: The National Institute for Early Education Research

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Do something to create a quality future for Orange County – take action for quality early education!