Children who attend early childhood education are more likely to achieve higher NAPLAN scores and continue to do better throughout their schooling, according to a new Australian study.
Commissioned by The Front Project, and conducted by PwC, the study found that improved cognitive abilities that result from participating in early learning can be measured in later school achievement, educational attainment and employment.
The report indicates that improved skills and abilities in children who attend early education was associated with improved NAPLAN results in Year 3.
Children with higher scores at Year 3 NAPLAN continue to do better all the way through to Year 9 NAPLAN, and then to high school graduation.
Front Project CEO, Jane Hunt, said the findings highlighted the vitally important role early learning plays in the development of children in the short-term and in the longer-term.
“One year of quality early learning before school can hold the key to unlocking a wealth of opportunity for our young people as they develop and eventually enter the workforce.
“Finally, we have the research that shows that quality early learning is a key economic enabler that will allow our children to seize opportunities as the world of work becomes more complex.
“We know that 65 per cent of children today will do jobs that have not been invented yet, so the reality is that our children will need to learn how to learn – early education does this, and this research proves it.”
PwC Chief Economist Jeremy Thorpe said the research demonstrates the substantial impact early learning has on children’s development and its impact throughout their education.
“Using the best available Australian and international research we were able to estimate the impact of early childhood education on early school achievement, and then the likely uplift in achievement at Year 3 and throughout the rest of their education,” Mr Thorpe said.
“The evidence suggests that if early childhood education puts students ahead at the start of primary school, the benefits will increase as they progress through the education system.”
Lisa Chung, Chair of The Front Project’s Board said the report reveals the enormous opportunities created later in life when we invest in the early years.
“Succeeding in future workplaces will require agile, lifelong learners, who are comfortable with continuous adaptation and a willingness to change industries or sectors,” Ms Chung said.
“It’s possible to train people in new information and contexts, but without teams who can learn and re-learn, innovation and efficiency suffer.”
To view the report, please click here.