Economic development starts with early childhood development, and the best investments ensure all children have access to high-quality early childhood education. Evidence shows that increased access to high-quality early learning and care programs results in short- and long-term benefits to individuals and society. Research shows that for every dollar invested in high-quality early childhood education, society gains up to $7.30 in economic returns over the long term.
In addition to providing long-term benefits to children and society at large, access to high-quality child care and early childhood education has positive effects for parents as well. Support for child care increases parents’ participation in the workforce and contributes to overall economic productivity. Conversely, a lack of affordable, reliable child care takes a major toll on the economy, as working families across the country lose more than $8.3 billion in wages annually due to inadequate child care access.
- Investments in high-quality early childhood education can generate up to $7.30 per dollar invested.
- Access to stable, high-quality child care also helps parents improve their labor productivity by increasing work hours, missing fewer work days and pursuing further education.
- The availability of early childhood education programs attracts homebuyers and increases property values by $13 for every dollar invested in local programs.
- Early childhood education reduces grade retention and is shown to save school systems money for K-12 education.
- Participants in high-quality early childhood education also show long-term gains in the form of lower rates of incarceration (46% reduction), lower rates of arrest for violent crimes (33% reduction) and a reduced likelihood of receiving government assistance (26% reduction).