A Smart Investment
Spending on early childhood development is not just important for the well-being of our children, but it also makes good economic sense.
For example, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman found that the earlier an investment is made in a child’s life, the higher the return. His research has also found that one of the most effective strategies for economic growth is investing in the development of at-risk young children. The short-term costs are offset by a reduction in need for special education and remediation, better health outcomes, reduced need for social services, lower criminal justice costs and increased self-sufficiency and productivity among families.
Studies have also found that:
- Every $1 invested in early childhood yields a $16 return (source: First Things First)
- An estimated $8.3 billion is lost in wages to working families each year due to lack of childcare (source: Center for American Progress)
- Military officials have said the most important long-term investment we can make for the security of our country is providing at-risk children with quality early childhood education as 72% of 17- to 24-year-olds do not meet the basic educational, physical and moral standards required for service (source: Politico)