By Holly Lebowitz Rossi
June 10, 2011

A study published in the journal Science has found that kids who attend preschool are less likely to commit crimes or become addicted to drugs and alcohol as adults.  Preschool-educated kids are also likely to grow up to have higher education and income levels than non-preschool-attending peers.

The study, which was conducted in low-income neighborhoods in Chicago, followed 1,539 children, mostly African American, born in 1979-80.  Nine hundred of the families sent their 3-4-year-old kids to the Chicago's federally-funded Child-Parent Center Education Program, and the rest attended full-day kindergarten but no preschool.

Researchers emphasized, however, that it's the quality of the preschool, not its mere existence, that is likely responsible for these remarkable findings.

"Just funding preschool doesn't mean it's going to be effective," Arthur Reynolds, director of the Chicago Longitudinal Study, told Time. "You have to follow the principles of quality," including consistent lessons in listening, math and reading preparation, and other school readiness techniques.

(image via: http://www.whyboysfail.com)

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