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What Do The Preschoolers Shut Out of Head Start Risk Missing Out On?

The budget cuts set into motion by the sequester will begin to affect the Head Start program this month, excluding nearly 60,000 low income children from the government-funded group's early education services.

It's more than a shame, especially since psychological and sociological studies have found that a preschool education continues to have benefits well beyond the toddler years. We've picked out a few of the most interesting side effects of a preschool education. Click on to learn the benefits.

The Unexpected Benefits of a Preschool Education

The budget cuts set into motion by the sequester will begin to affect the Head Start program this month, excluding nearly 60,000 low income children from the government-funded group's early education services.

It's more than a shame, especially since psychological and sociological studies have found that a preschool education continues to have benefits well beyond the toddler years. We've picked out a few of the most interesting side effects of a preschool education. Click on to learn the benefits.

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You're More Likely to Succeed At Every Level of Education

The benefits of a preschool education begin to show themselves as early as kindergarten, when children who attended preschool tend to do better on both math and reading assessments than those who did not. This advantage follows students through high school and even college. One longitudinal study of Chicago students found that 80 percent of the preschool group graduated high school, compared to 75 percent of the non-preschool students. A few years later, about 15 percent of preschool students had graduated from a four-year college, compared to just 11 percent of the others.

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You're Less Likely To Get Arrested

The same Chicago study that showed success in education also revealed that 48 percent of the preschool group studied went on to be arrested in adulthood and 15 percent were incarcerated, compared to the 54 percent of the non-preschool group arrested and 21 percent incarcerated. (Either way, though, wow, that's a lot of people being arrested.)

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You'll earn more money

Though it's difficult to pin down exact dollar figures, education policy experts agree that people who attend preschool earn more income on average than those who did not. (If you have any doubts, see the results of the Perry Preschool Project and the Chicago Child-Parent Program.)

As a bonus, the parents of preschool children are also able to earn more money, given a relief from constant childcare. With greater lifetime earnings, of course, come greater tax revenues, which helps explain our next slide...

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You'll Contribute More To Society

No wonder over two-thirds of American voters support expanding funding to enable universal preschool. It's not just the kids themselves who have something to gain from going to preschool: it's the whole country.

According to the National Educational Policy Center, early education has been helped close the national achievement gap by nearly half. And a national investment in preschool, advocates claim, can produce an astoundingly high return-on-investment (like an $8 yield for every dollar spent high).

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