As Congress grapples with questions about the smartest ways to invest public funds, here’s a statement from our favorite Nobel Prize winning economist on the issue:

“The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families. Starting at age three or four is too little too late, as it fails to recognize that skills beget skills in a complimentary and dynamic way. Efforts should focus on the first years for the greatest efficiency and effectiveness. The best investment is in quality early childhood development from birth to five for disadvantaged children and their families.”

James J. Heckman
Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics
University of Chicago

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