Children benefit academically and socially from a state-funded preschool program aimed at 4-year-olds who are considered at risk, study by University of Virginia researchers has found.
According to the study, students who had attended programs financed by the Virginia Preschool Initiative performed better in meeting kindergarten and 1st grade literacy competencies and were less likely to repeat kindergarten, as compared to students who had attended no preschool. The study focused on a cohort of more than 60,000 Virginia children. It followed them from kindergarten through 1st grade.
Of those students, 11,000 had been deemed at risk through the initiative, meaning they were impoverished, homeless, did not speak English primarily, had developmental problems, or had parents who had limited education, were incarcerated, or were chronically ill.
A version of this article appeared in the July 13, 2011 edition of Education Week as State-Funded Preschools