Well-funded Preschool Programs Reduce Crime, Report Says

Filed under: In The News, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers


Wanna keep your kids out of cuffs? Send them to preschool. Credit: banspy, Flickr

Still not sure if you want to send your kid to preschool?

You might want to pay attention to this: A new study says kids who don't attend preschool are twice as likely to be arrested for violent crimes by the time they're 40.

The Contra Costa Times reports that a single dollar spent on preschool today could save millions in special education costs and crime-related expenses in California over the long term, according to a new research report issued by that state this week.

The report, compiled by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, cites a Michigan study that found kids who attend voluntary, quality preschool programs are less likely to need access to K-12 special education programs because of developmental delays or emotional problems.

"Children who attended preschool were 43 percent less likely to need special education services," Pleasant Hill, Calif. Police Chief Pete Dunbar tells the newspaper.

The report, which is specific to the Bay Area, says the state of California spends $117 million on preschool programs for 4-year-olds, and that it would cost about $710 million to provide quality preschool programs for all kids that age.

However, that could net California significant savings in the long run. About $300 million in education costs could be recouped, and California state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, points out that the state spends about $225,000 per year on each juvenile offender who is incarcerated.

"Quality preschool programs cut crime and save money," David Livingston, Concord's police chief and Contra Costa County sheriff-elect, tells the Times.

Related: Choosing a Preschool: Let the Fun Begin!

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.