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Parents in Poll Say Effects of Pre-K Last a Lifetime

While lawmakers continue to debate the long-range impact of preschool on participants, 62 percent of parents in a new poll commissioned by a day-care and pre-K provider said they believe the skills gained in early-childhood education programs last a lifetime.

Such opportunities were seen as "essential" to learning social and emotional skills—and were rated as just as important as traditional academics, states a national poll released April 7 by the Novi, Mich.-based Learning Care Group. The company runs 900 day-care operations and schools in 36 states for children ages 6 weeks to 13 years.

The study, which is not available to the public and done by Harris Poll, asked questions in November 2013 of more than 1,000 parents with children up to 8 years old. Among the findings:

• 84 percent of parents felt pre-K was instrumental in helping their child learn to be respectful of others;

• 79 percent said it was critical for children learned to work independently;

• 77 percent agreed it was important for children to internalize strategies to manage emotions at school.

"The conversation needs to begin with an acknowledgement of the proven value of early-childhood education," said Learning Care Group Chief Academic Officer Susan Canizares, in an e-mail interview. "The most meaningful long-terms gains can be made through schools with high standards, a rigorous curriculum, and qualified, dedicated teachers."  

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