Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Why Early Learning Beats the Stock Market and New Stadiums

There is also growing evidence that investments in early childhood education not only increase the chance that future adults will be economically successful, but also reduce the need for expensive social services and prison down the line.

The most recent news comes via Thrive By Five Washington:

One of the leading voices in economics and child care made a simple yet compelling argument this month: Early learning’s return on investment beats the stock market and new sports stadiums. Former Minneapolis Federal Reserve economist Art Rolnick took a look at the well known Perry Preschool’s role in the economy in a Q&A with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s magazine Forefront.

But there’s lots more too:

  • The recession battered state of Michigan has found that pre-school attendance saves taxpayers money and can be a sound investment by giving youngsters a foundation they need to become productive members of society.
  • James Heckman, a Nobel laureate in economics, noted that the effectiveness of early intervention is much, much higher than many of the interventions that American society has traditionally adopted to try to remediate, to patch up, to fix the problems that arise from disadvantaged environments.
  • And there’s proof right here in Washington too. In the Bremerton School District, offering full-day kindergarten instead of half-day saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in remedial reading services every year. Their experience backs up Heckman’s research.
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