Investing in Early Childhood Education: Making the Case for the 4K Program

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Webcast Details

Aired on: March 10th, 2015

3:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

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Our Guest(s) This Week

Dr. Dolores A. Stegelin

Dolores A. Stegelin, PhD, is one of the country’s foremost experts in the area of early childhood education and development, effective play-based early learning environments, and curriculum. In addition to serving as Professor of Teacher Education and Early Childhood Education at Clemson University’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education, Dr. Stegelin has been active in policy research and professional activities for more than 20 years.

This Week's Topic

Four-year-old kindergarten (4K) programs are becoming more common across the U.S. Designed as an enrichment opportunity prior to kindergarten, 4K incorporates play-based elements focused on nurturing the social, emotional, and early academic skills of four-year-old children. The importance and impact of 4K has grown based upon recent studies indicating that early childhood investments such as 4K positively impact the U.S. economy in productivity growth, job creation, and a competitive future workforce. Further, a study by The PEW Center on the States showed that effective early childhood programs also benefit at-risk children through higher test scores and improved social and emotional skills.


Center on the Developing Child(2015).

Institute for Child Success(2015).

Heckman, J. J. (2012).  Invest in Early Childhood Development: Reduce Deficits, Strengthen the EconomyHeckman Institute.

Stegelin, D. (2015).  Policy Matters: Showcasing Education That Works.

Summers, J. (2014).  Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead.

Hart, B., & Risley, T. R. (2003).  The Early Catastrophe: The 30 Million Word Gap by Age 3  pdfAmerican Federation of Teachers.

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