I recall my disappointment at the ALP’s taking the craze for early childhood intervention in the 2007 election and turning it into a generalised promise for earlier and more kindergarten. Just think of how they could have spent that money on targeted intervention for at risk kids. Anyway I guessed that for all its waste, perhaps such universalism might just be a very expensive way to get to a worthwhile policy. But it ain’t necessarily so.
The Long-Run Impacts of Early Childhood Education: Evidence From a Failed Policy Experiment by Philip DeCicca, Justin D. Smith – NBER Working Paper 17085 (ED)
We investigate short and long-term effects of early childhood education using variation created by a unique policy experiment in British Columbia, Canada. Our findings imply starting Kindergarten one year late substantially reduces the probability of repeating the third grade, and meaningfully increases in tenth grade math and reading scores. Effects are highest for low income students and males. Estimates suggest that entering kindergarten early may have a detrimental effect on future outcomes.