Why should we invest in early education?

There has been considerable press about the economic benefits of investing in early care and education lately.  Arthur J Rolnick of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis writes “Careful academic research demonstrates that tax dollars spent on early childhood development provide extraordinary returns compared with investments in the public, and even private, sector.  The potential return from a focused, high-quality early childhood development program is as high as 16 percent per year.  Some of these benefits are private gains for the children involved in the form of higher wages later in life.  But the broader economy also benefits because individuals who participate in high-quality early childhood development programs have greater skills than they otherwise would, and they’re able to contribute productively to local economies.”  There is also data that show at-risk children who don’t receive a high-quality early education are more likely to drop out of school, become a teen parent, be placed in special education, be arrested for a violent crime and never attend college.

The Pierce County Birth to Three program is a local program providing services to infants and toddlers with diagnosed disabilities and developmental delays.  There is a focus on increasing the child’s development but also matching the child’s family to resources that could be helpful for them.  To learn more about the economic benefits of early childhood education visit www.ounceofprevention.org/about/why-early-childhood-investments-work.php

To learn more about the Wisconsin Birth to Three program visit www.b3wisconsin.org