Birth to five early childhood education is an effective way to prevent downstream problems in education, health, and economic productivity that strain government budgets and weaken America’s global competitiveness.
As we face great budget challenges, we must recognize that we can’t cut our way out of a deficit any more than we can spend our way out of it. Instead, we must work to prioritize the investment of precious resources in programs that produce the greatest gains. Quality early childhood education is a cost-efficient strategy for reducing deficits and promoting growth.
Nobel Prize Laureate economist James Heckman has shown that every dollar invested in quality early childhood education for at-risk children delivers economic gains of 7-10 percent per year through increased school achievement, healthy behavior, and adult productivity. His work proves that prevention through early childhood development is more cost-effective than remediation.