Policy Documents

Reviewing the Research on Universal Preschool and All-Day Kindergarten

Liv Finne –
November 1, 2007

Some political activists promoting universal preschool programs are attempting to convince legislators, business groups and taxpayers that putting every toddler in a tax-subsidized preschool program would deliver long-term benefits to society in general.

This Policy Note describes the child care environment for preschoolers in Washington State, examines the claims being made by universal preschool proponents, and reviews research of existing programs in other states which shows that the educational effect of universal preschool fades out over time. Studies conclude that the highly-regulated universal preschool programs for families in Georgia, Oklahoma, and New Jersey have provided no long-lasting learning benefit to children.