Research points to benefits of full-day preschool
New research sheds light on the long term impacts of Pre-K and whether a half or full-day offers more benefits. In Vermont all children get ten hours a week of taxpayer funded Pre-K. CBS' Nikki Battiste visited New Jersey, where the state pays for some toddlers to attend school full-time.
Five-year-old Julissa Cruz can write her name, something she couldn't do before coming to Little Lamb Preschool in Vineland, New Jersey. Her mother, Patrina Cruz, is a single parent.
Patrina Cruz: Zero
Reporter Nikki Battiste: How much do you pay for Julissa to come here?
Students like Julissa get free, full-day, high-quality education at Little Lamb. New Jersey is one of 43 states where some children can attend state-funded preschool at no cost. Seven other states have "universal pre-k" free for all families, regardless of income.
"The bottom line is that students at both ends of the achievement spectrum benefit -- and benefit substantially -- in the longer run from participating in a high quality pre-k program," said Dr. Bill Gormley with Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.
Gormley authored a recent study that shows full-day pre-k can lead to higher math scores and honors courses in middle school. He also says students who participate in a full-day program are less likely to repeat a grade. "That's an important outcome because grade retention is associated with a lot of negative outcomes later in life, including lower adult learning and higher rates of crime," he said.
Teacher Amy Tomasso says the benefits of a full-day of learning are endless for her students, including Julissa. "Her math skills -- I can see a huge difference in her, and also a lot of confidence and her self-esteem as well," she said.
Reporter Nikki Battiste: What differences have you seen in her?
Patrina Cruz: Her drawing, her cleaning up after she plays with toys, and her manners.
If we're letting the kids be the judge...
NB: If you like preschool, raise your hand?
(kids raise hand quickly)
Pre-k is getting an "A."