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Evidence of Promise

TLC acts on recognition of the significant impact early childhood has on physical, social, emotional, academic and life outcomes. Correlative early childhood studies by James Heckman, Robert G. Lynch, and others all point to the benefits when young children access quality education and their parents are meaningfully engaged in education.  Specifically, we refer to the “Schools, Skills, and Synapses” study by Heckman, 2008, which discusses the role of cognitive and non-cognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, highlighting the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged ones. Heckman did a study on the Perry Preschool Project, a preschool that served impoverished, predominately African American youth. This longitudinal study found that the Perry Preschool Project had a profound effect on its students, including increased individual income earnings, reduced incarceration, and reduced special education services which in turn creates cost savings for communities. Additional studies from Boston and New Jersey found that universal access to quality preschool is beneficial for all families, regardless of income or ethnicity. TLC aims to pair access to preschool with participation in our Family Development Course, which includes opportunities for parents to pursue college or career development, thereby providing parents with educational opportunities to break free from the poverty cycle, increasing the statistical likelihood of educational success for their babies. (Perry Preschool Project).

Summary of Evidence

90% of brain development occurs by age five

  • Arizona First things First Annual Report, 2014.

Many parents and guardians experienced early childhood poverty and trauma themselves, impacting their current ability to positively parent 

  • “Creating Opportunities for Families: A Two-Generation Approach” Anne E. Casey Foundation, Kinds Count Policy Report, 2014.

Quality early education contributes to school readiness

  • “Schools, Skills, Synapses,” Heckman, 2008.
  • “Expanding Access to Quality Pre-K is Sound Public Policy,” NIEER, 2012.

Access to quality child education is limited by affordability and community capacity

  • Arizona First things First Annual Report, 201
  • Flagstaff Commission on Excellence in Education Report, 2014.

Education is a pathway to opportunity and means of economic self-sufficiency

  • “Mothers’ Education and Children’s Outcomes: How Dual Generation Programs Offer Increased Opportunities for America’s Families,” Hernandez and Napierala, 2014.
  • “Schools, Skills, Synapses,” Heckman, 2008.
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