The Economics of Early Childhood Investments

December 2014

Early childhood, beginning in infancy, is a period of profound advances in reasoning, language acquisition, and problem solving, and importantly, a child’s environment can dramatically influence the degree and pace of these advances. By supporting development when children are very young, early childhood development and education programs can complement parental investments and produce large benefits to children, parents, and society.

An analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers describes the economic returns to investments in childhood development and early education. Some of these benefits, such as increases in parental earnings and employment, are realized immediately, while other benefits, such as greater educational attainment and earnings, are realized later when children reach adulthood. Intotal,theexistingresearchsuggestsexpandingearlylearninginitiativeswould provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, about half of which comes from increased earnings for children when they grow up.

Source: The White House

Available at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/early_childhood_report1.pdf

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