Early Childhood Care and Education
“PAY NOW OR PAY MUCH MORE LATER”
Law enforcement leaders support high-quality early learning to cut crime and save money
Law enforcement leaders across the country are urging policymakers to support high-quality early care and education. There is strong evidence that these programs can help at-risk children succeed, reduce the likelihood that they will commit crimes and save taxpayer dollars by lowering prison costs.
Learn more about research for specific states:
Research reports and more information are available for most states.
Our Approach: Why Early Education?
Research shows that voluntary high-quality early care and education can prepare children, especially at-risk kids, for a successful life rather than a life of repeated contacts with law enforcement. For example.
- Chicagos publicly funded Child-Parent Centers have served almost 100,000 three- and four-year-olds since 1967. For 14 years, researchers tracked 989 of those children and 550 similar children not in the program. The children who did not participate were 70 percent more likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.
- In Ypsilanti, Michigan, three- and four-year-olds from low-income families who did not participate in the Perry Preschool program were five times more likely to be chronic lawbreakers by age 27 than those who were randomly assigned to the program. The children in the preschool program were 44 percent more likely to graduate from high school.