Early Learning, Later Success
Carolina Abecedarian Project
Since 1974 the Abecedarian Project has studied the progress of 57 low-income individuals who were assigned to receive high-quality child care from infancy to age 5. Their progress is compared to that of 54 similarly-situated children who did not receive the early education treatment.
By the age of 18 months, children in the intervention group already had significantly higher scores on mental tests. Cognition assessments at ages 12 and 15 showed this group continued to excel years later — scoring significantly higher in reading and math through middle adolescence. By age 21, those in the treatment group were twice as likely to still be in school, pursuing higher education opportunities. They were two years older, on average, when their first child was born — and had a 15% higher employment rate.