The preschool environment has a profound effect on emotional well-being and can either enhance or detract from learning. Large-scale studies and mega-analysis show that high-quality preschools can provide both short- and long-term benefits for children’s socioemotional and cognitive development and their future academic success. Although the effect of high-quality preschool does appear to decrease over time, there is a lasting effect on cognitive and social outcomes and school progress.

However, large-scale studies also indicate that many programs are not high quality and might actually cause children harm. Due to the high percentage of children in preschool programs, the quality of care they receive can have large consequences not only for the child and family but also for society. For example, according to the National Center ...

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