Key Coverage

Making the Preschool Magic Last as Children Get Older

Many of the nation’s top preschools have found that the magic ingredient in supporting kids and boosting their academic success is involving parents and providing intensive support to families.

Christopher House, a nonprofit that runs a high-performing elementary charter school and a small network of public preschools in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, has infused parental support into its model.

And it has taken its efforts beyond the preschool years in an attempt to tackle fade-out, a problem that notoriously afflicts even top preschools. Too often, after launching kids into school far ahead of their peers, even high-quality preschools with intensive family support see students’ academic gains slowly diminish. After a few years, the effects are often hard to discern.