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This entry discusses the long-term benefits of high-quality early education and how research findings fueled today’s emphasis on improving early learning opportunities for all children. The early years of life are a time of rapid growth and development. From birth to age 5, children are constantly exploring their environment. They are learning to communicate verbally, control body functions, self-regulate their emotions, and interact with others. These early years provide the foundation for healthy development and future learning. As a result, the quality of care and education that young children receive during these formative years will significantly influence the trajectory of their lives.

Recognizing the positive impact of high-quality early education, federal, state, and local governments are working to improve early education for all children. This emphasis ...

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