Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO) - This report by Nobel Laureate James Heckman and colleagues finds that high quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment. This is substantially higher than the 7-10% return previously established for programs serving 3- to 4-year-olds. It finds that significant gains are realized through better outcomes in education, health, social behaviors and employment.
This Economic Policy Institute report describes how an ambitious investment in young children, their parents, and the early childhood workforce could have far-reaching benefits for children, families, society, and the economy. It looks at how early childhood programs could address two major weaknesses in the current U.S. economy: income inequality and a slowdown in productivity growth. It also finds that high-quality child care is currently out of reach for many families in the U.S., not just low-income families.
Informing Investments in Preschool Quality and Access in Cincinnati: Evidence of Impacts and Economic Returns fromNational, State, and Local Preschool Programs (2016)
The RAND Corporation examines the research evidence on the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and their families and the associated costs and economic returns. A discussion about the impacts for universal versus targeted programs and for programs of varying intensity is included.
The Washington Center for Equitable Growth describes and analyzes the benefits and costs of investing in high-quality, voluntary, universal prekindergarten for all 3- and 4-year-olds across the country. Suggests that such a program could strengthen the U.S. economy's competitiveness while while also easing a number of fiscal, social, and health problems.
Early Childhood Education (2015)
This Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group paper summarizes the literature on early childhood education and childcare, considering the evidence from means-tested demonstration programs, large-scale means-tested programs and universal programs without means testing. The evidence from high-quality demonstration programs targeted toward disadvantaged children shows beneficial effects, with returns exceeding costs.
This report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers analyzes the research on economic returns to investments in early childhood education and suggests that expanding early learning initiatives would provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent, about half of which would come from increased earnings for children when they grow up. Other benefits would include increased parental earnings and employment, reduced need for remedial education and later public school expenditures, increased educational attainment, improved health, and decreased involvement with the criminal justice system.
Early Childhood Education as an Essential Component of Economic Development; With Reference to the New England States (2013)
Arthur MacEwan, at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst issued this report which discusses research findings on early childhood education programs and how the universal provision of high quality early childhood education programs can make significant positive contributions to economic development, as well as general social well-being.
Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America's Future (2012)
The Committee for Economic Development (CED) describes why investing in early education programs is one of the most effective strategies to secure the future economic strength of local communities and the nation as a whole.
See also: The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool (2006)
Pew Center on the States and Partnership for America's Economic Success - Provides highlights from an in-depth analysis of the early childhood sector of the U.S. economy, which found that public and private investments in young children are equivalent to 2.9 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP); however these investments are inadequate to promote the full economic and social benefits of investing in young children.
See also: The Economic Value of the U.S. Early Childhood Sector (2010)
Business Roundtable and Corporate Voices for Working Families - Describes why high-quality early education is important in building a globally competitive workforce and discusses guiding principles that define the components of high-quality programs.
Exceptional Returns: Economic, Fiscal, and Social Benefits of Investment in Early Childhood Development (2004)
The Economic Policy Institute highlights the economic returns, to society and the individual, of investing in high-quality early childhood programs.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis makes a case for investing in early childhood development. Studies find that well-focused investments in early childhood development yield high public as well as private returns.