Print this Page  
City of Seattle
Seattle City Council

SUBJECT: National experts present new research on benefits of high-quality universal preschool; Council Committee readies for report on early learning gaps in Seattle

2/4/2014  1:00:00 PM
Alex Pendersen, Council President Burgess' Office, 206-684-8806

Dana Robinson Slote  (206) 615-0061

Council President Tim Burgess

National experts present new research on benefits of
high-quality universal preschool;
Council Committee readies for report on early learning gaps in Seattle

Seattle - City Council heard more compelling evidence yesterday from national experts on the immediate and long-term benefits for children and society when cities invest in high-quality preschool. While national expert Dr. Steven Barnett presented similar preschool benefits to the Council in June 2013, Monday's presentation by Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Dr. Christina Weiland further validates those benefits with the most recent research.

  • For each $1 invested in high-quality preschool, society can reap up to $5 in return.
  • Children make larger gains when quality is higher, as seen with:
    • Evidence-based curricula proven to produce social-emotional and learning gains
    • Warm, responsive teacher-child interactions
    • Teachers encouraging children to speak - "serve and return" conversation.
  • Both low-income and middle-income children benefit with school readiness and longer-term outcomes.

Supporting Documents:

  1. New Research on the Benefits of Universal Preschool
  2. Executive Summary -- Evidence Base on Preschool Education
  3. Evidence Base on Preschool Education
  4. Boston Universal Preschool Video
  5. Boston Universal Preschool Study

The new research from the professors lays the groundwork for Wednesday's Council Committee discussion of early learning gaps in Seattle.

WHAT: Gap Analysis and Draft Outreach Strategy of Preschool for All

WHEN: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, February 5 (preschool items likely starting at 10:00 a.m.)

WHERE: City Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall, 2nd Fl, 600 Fourth Ave, Seattle

WHO: Council's Education & Governance Committee, the City's Office for Education, and BERK Consulting

The City Council requested the Gap Analysis when it unanimously adopted its preschool Resolution 31478 on September 23, 2013. That Resolution establishes the city's goal of offering high-quality, affordable preschool to all three- and four-year olds in Seattle and calls for an Action Plan to get it done.

Several jurisdictions, including Boston, San Francisco, the State of Oklahoma, the State of West Virginia, and 31 local districts in New Jersey, are already implementing high-quality preschool open to all children and, according to independent studies, the participating children are achieving the intended positive outcomes. Seattle's Preschool for All efforts will determine the feasibility of achieving similar social justice, early learning impacts throughout our city.

Supporting Documents:

  1. Gap Analysis Report with Appendix
  2. Outreach Strategy draft
  3. Outreach handout

More information can be found at the City Council's preschool website:

Back to News Release Home Page and News Release Search