Fadeout Toolkit

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Fadeout is a myth. Quality early childhood education provides persistent boosts in socio-emotional skills even if cognitive skills taper in the short-run. Gains in socio-emotional skills ultimately create better education, health and economic achievement. It’s time to focus on developing the whole child and stop declaring failure based on third-grade standardized test scores. The research summaries, videos and statements in this toolkit will aid in explaining why fadeout doesn’t exist, and instead is a “fade up” of cognitive and socio-emotional skills that persist throughout life.

You can also download individual resources below.

Academic paper. The research paper Early Childhood Education from Professor Heckman and colleagues analyzes whether early childhood programs are effective and if they can be subsidized by the government to be high-quality programs. It includes a discussion on the issue of fadeout beginning on page 31.

Research summary. This is a great resource for those who need to prove that government investment in early childhood education for disadvantaged children pays off for individuals and society.

A statement. Explains the importance of the Early Childhood Education research paper in regards to competing studies that make incorrect claims of fadeout. The statement also addresses topline takeaways from the academic paper.

A video. This video explains the concept of “fade up”, not fadeout. It illustrates the misconceptions of basing lifelong achievement on third-grade test scores, and how success in life stems from more than cognitive factors.

A video. This video reiterates that there is no fadeout, but rather lasting effects from the education and developmental benefits obtained in high-quality early childhood education.

Share graphic. “Across a number of different studies, positive effects are found such as grade repetition and special education, as well as on health behaviors.”

Share graphic.“Quality #ECE provides persistent boosts in socio-emotional skills even if the effects on cognitive skills diminish in the shortrun.”

Share graphic. “High-quality programs produce high-quality outcomes.”

Share graphic.
“The effects of adverse early childhood environments persist over a lifetime.”

Share graphic. “Programs should be evaluated by their impacts on a multitude of outcomes over a lifetime and not just by their impacts on IQ or achievement test scores measured shortly after children complete programs.”

Share graphic. “High-quality #ECE has substantial effects on life outcomes beyond IQ or achievement test scores that are the focus of attention in popular discussions of public policy.”