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Outcomes of early childhood education: Literature review

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Report to the Ministry of Education
Mitchell, Linda, Wylie, Cathy, and Carr, Margaret
Publication Date: 
28 May 2008

This literature review was commissioned by the New Zealand Ministry of Education to provide policy makers with a synthesis of research that analyses the impact of early childhood education (ECE) for children and families. It addresses three questions: 1. What (short-term and long-term) developmental, educational, social, and economic outcomes are associated with participation in ECE for learners and their families? 2. Are different outcomes associated with different population groups and under different circumstances/ contexts? In particular: • What types of institutional (e.g. differences in educational/care systems, types of services), funding and regulatory arrangements/frameworks are associated with achieving positive outcomes? • When are adverse impacts more likely and for whom? 3. How do different outcomes interact/relate with one another? • What is the size/significance of the different impacts of ECE? • How long do the effects last?