Ok, so you may hope pre-school gets your child slightly prepared for their first day at school, but their GCSE’s too? According to a recent Department of Education report, pre-school can boost how well your child does at exams – and getting a good salary later in life.
The Effective Pre-School, Primary and Secondary (EPPSE) research shows children who go to pre-school are projected to earn £27,000 more during their career than those who don’t. They are also more likely to get better GCSE results – the equivalent of getting 7 Bs rather than 7 Cs.
The research, carried out by leading academics at the Institute of Education, University of Oxford, and Birkbeck, University of London, also found that early education helped young people to specifically do better in GCSE English and Maths.
The effects were better if the pre-school was of high-quality, and pre-school was shown to be particularly valuable for children from less advantaged backgrounds.
Sam Gyimah, Education and Childcare Minister, said, ‘Before they have even worn their school uniform for the first time, a child’s life chances are being decided. Early education not only sets a child off on the right foot at school but, as this extensive research shows, has effects that last right into the workplace.’
Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University Kathy Sylva, who worked on the research, said, ‘The results are clear - early education pays off, and high quality pre-school education gives children the very best start in life.’
The government funds 15 hours per week of early education for all three and four-year-olds. Last month, the eligibility of two-year-olds to receive 15 hours per week of free childcare was doubled to include 40% of all two -year-olds from poorer families. Tax-free childcare has also been introduced, which could save a working family up to £2,000 per child per year from 2015.