Pre-school learning boosts brain development
Researchers at the University of London found that pre-school improves cognitive development and has an important impact on academic achievements up to the age of 10.
The findings suggest that early years education provides a valuable grounding in linguistic and numeracy skills which may offer youngsters some extra help with maths and English when they reach primary school.
As well as the long-term academic benefits, the Government-funded study also found that learning and playing at nursery can boost social development.
Attending nursery was shown to help children develop social skills such as independence, concentration and cooperation.
Pre-school also helps boost social development by giving children the chance to interact with others and make friends, the researchers said.