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Estimates of the Costs and Benefits of Expanding the Early Childhood Education Program in Kentucky - Based on previous analyses of the Perry Preschool Project, the Carolina Abecedarian Program, the Chicago Child-Parent Centers and Head Start, the researchers found that expanding the Kentucky’s state pre-k program to serve all low-income three year olds would yield a benefit-cost ratio of 5 to 1 while adding all three and four year olds up to 200 percent of poverty would result in more than $3 returned to every dollar invested. The analysis included both private benefits (e.g., increased earnings, health benefits) and public benefits (e.g., cost-savings from reduced special education and grade retention, less criminal activity, less child abuse and neglect). (Christopher Jepsen, Kenneth Troske, and Casey Brasher,October 2010)...

Cost Savings Analysis of School Readiness in Michigan - Using data from cost-benefit analyses of early learning programs from around the country, a study from Wilder Research found that over the past 25 years, Michigan's pre-k program has saved the state more than $1 billion through lower grade retention and special education placement rates, reduced criminal activity and higher employment. Researchers also found that serving all low-income children in Michigan at a cost of about $236 million a year would save the state roughly another $600 million annually. (Wilder Research, November 2009)...

Strengthening Benefit-Cost Analysis for Early Childhood Interventions: Workshop Summary - This report “summarizes a workshop that was held to explore ways to strengthen benefit-cost analysis so it can be used to support effective policy decisions.” It presents innovations and challenges related to each step of benefit-cost analyses: from determining the impact of a program to calculating its costs to assigning economic values to its benefits. The gathering explored emerging methodologies, such as using short-term outcomes to project future economic benefits. The last chapter documents insights and challenges in communicating findings to policy makers. (The National Academies Press, 2009)...

Investing in America's Children: The Business Case - Investing in America's children is an economic imperative. This document presents a case to business leaders. (Partnership for America's Economic Success, August 2009)...

Preparing the Workers of Today for the Jobs of Tomorrow - This paper by the President's Council of Economic Advisors states that "the first step to a highly skilled workforce is a high-quality early childhood, elementary and secondary education system." (Council of Economic Advisers, July 2009)...

Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start - This study on the long-term impact of Head Start shows that while cognitive gains made by Head Start students become less significant over time, Head Start is associated with important non-cognitive gains lasting through the participants' school careers and into young adulthood. Based on a longitudinal survey of Head Start children and their mothers from 1986 to 2004, the study found that while Head Start is associated with gains in test scores at ages five and six, these gains became less significant as the children grew older. At the same time, Head Start still has a significant association with lower grade retention, less diagnosis for a learning disability through age 14, and more positive long-term outcomes when the children were 19 years old or older. (David Deming, American Economic Journal, July 2009)...

Early Care and Education Quality and Child Outcomes - This brief from Child Trends discusses two commonly used quality measures, ECERS and CLASS, and finds that both have modest but significant associations with positive child outcomes. This is especially true if one focuses on certain sub-scales from these instruments that are related to teaching practices and interactions with children, rather than on the overall quality rating. (Child Trends, May 2009)...

Evaluating, Developing, and Enhancing Domain-Specific Measures of Child Care Quality - This brief from Child Trends breaks down the strengths and shortcomings of quality measurements within different aspects of program performance: language and literacy, math and science, social and emotional development, health and safety, family engagement, and cultural competence. (Child Trends, May 2009)...

West Virginia’s Progress Toward Universal Prekindergarten - This report, documenting West Virginia’s progress toward voluntary pre-k for all children, finds that pre-k participation varied by subgroups, with racial minorities and those with special needs participating at rates similar to those from the general populations and children from rural counties more likely to be enrolled than those from non-rural counties. (Department of Education Institute of Educational Sciences, April 2009)...

The Cost Burden to Minnesota K-12 When Children Are Unprepared for Kindergarten - Researchers in Minnesota released an analysis of the savings the state's K-12 system would forgo if the poorest young children don't have access to high-quality pre-k programs and arrive at kindergarten underprepared. The savings considered include fewer special education placements, less grade retention, less teacher turnover and absenteeism, and less additional support necessary for English Language Learners. The researchers estimated that the K-12 system would begin when the first cohort of pre-k children enter kindergarten. In the 15th year, when the students reach 12th grade, the annual K-12 savings would total $113 million, or about a third of the annual cost of the pre-k program. (Wilder Research, December 2008)...

Preschool Education and Its Lasting Effects: Research and Policy Implications - This paper from the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) reviews the literature on the lasting effects of early education. Among the three types of early childhood programs reviewed -- child care, Head Start, and state- or locally-funded pre-k -- the paper finds that child care has the lowest impact on children in terms of cognitive gains. There is evidence, mostly from programs that serve low-income children, that Head Start and pre-k programs have more long-term benefits for children, such as higher graduation rates and fewer arrests as juveniles and adults. The paper also presents evidence from international studies and programs that serve infants and toddlers. (Education Policy Research Unit, September 2008)...

A Plan to Revive the American Economy - The Economic Policy Institute argues that providing pre-k for all helps every child get a fair start in life, which contributes to the alleviation of poverty. (Economic Policy Institute, August 2008)...

Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Peer Effects in Early Education - A working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that children's reading and math scores at the end of kindergarten are significantly associated with the proportion of peers in their class who participated in early education programs. Furthermore, third grade test scores have a similar relationship with early education enrollment, although to a lesser degree. The study suggests that increasing access to pre-k benefits not only those who enroll in the program but also their peers during the elementary school years. Specifically, the researchers estimate that peer effects increase the impact of pre-k on later test scores by as much as 25 percent. (National Bureau of Economic Research, August 2008)...

Putting the Pieces in Place: A North Carolina School Readiness Report - This report expands on the definition of “school readiness” by considering other factors in a child’s life that make for a “ready child.” As a result, the report compiles data on indicators of readiness for children, families, and communities, serving as a baseline against which progress in school readiness can be measured, and recommends ways in which states can help these constituencies ensure they are “ready.” (Action for Children-North Carolina, 2008)...

Time to Lead Again: The promise of Georgia Pre-K - This report demonstrates how Georgia may be falling short on pre-k provision and provides recommendations on setting the target enrollment rate at 80 percent over four to five years, creating a pilot program for 3-year-olds, making quality improvements including requiring new teachers to have bachelor’s degrees and training in early childhood education. (The Southern Education Foundation, 2008)...

The Economics of Early Childhood Policy: What the Dismal Science Has to Say About Investing in Children - This paper from RAND explains the economic benefits of early childhood education and offers policymakers five "policy-decision rules" that help them decide how to allocate resources among an array of programs by comparing their costs and benefits and the extent to which their economic returns change when more or fewer children are served. (M. Rebecca Kilburn and Lynn Karoly, RAND Corporation, 2008)...

Community Developers’ Guide to Improving Schools in Revitalizing Neighborhoods - This advocacy guide for leaders of neighborhood revitalization efforts discusses three priorities to improve education: principal and teacher quality, curriculum, and early childhood education. Based on research in community development efforts in 12 urban neighborhoods around the country, the publication finds that high-quality early education not only benefits children, it also contributes to the community by allowing more parents to pursue employment opportunities. The existence of quality programs has the potential to attract middle-income families to neighborhoods and create more economically diverse communities. (Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., 2008)...

Early Childhood Assessment: Why, What, and How - This National Research Council report articulates the latest understanding of best practices in early childhood assessments, leading with the basic principle that the purpose of each assessment should drive decisions about what to measure, how to measure it, and how to use the data. Guidelines for these processes are provided to ensure that the benefits of assessing young children outweigh any negative effects on the children, adults, or programs, such as making children anxious or overburdening teachers. (National Research Council, 2008)...

Longitudinal Effects of the Arkansas Better Chance Program: Findings from Kindergarten and First Grade - In this study, researchers at that National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) found mixed, though generally positive, pre-k outcomes. While children who attended pre-k, upon kindergarten entry, did significantly better than their peers on measures of vocabulary, basic reading skills, and early math skills, by the end of kindergarten the only evidence of significant impact was for vocabulary skills. Moreover, by the end of first grade, researchers found significant impact for early math and basic reading skills, but not for vocabulary. (The National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University, May 2008)...

Partnering for Preschool: A study of center directors in New Jersey’s Mixed-Delivery Abbott Program - This report discusses the benefits and challenges experienced by directors of child care and Head Start centers who decided to join the Abbott Preschool Program in New Jersey. Being part of a professional network and raising standards for quality were reported as motivating factors for joining the state’s pre-k program. Several challenges, however, also resulted from this decision, including the need to build a cohesive staff, hiring teachers with higher credentials but little work experience, and adjusting to additional administrative responsibilities. (Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, 2008)...

Quasi-Experimental Evaluations: Part 6 in a Series on Practical Evaluation Methods - This brief describes information produced by quasi-experimental evaluations and when it is appropriate to use this approach. It also discusses different types of quasi-experimental evaluations and the problems associated with the methodologies. (Kristin Anderson Moore, Child Trends, 2008)...

Who Goes to Preschool and Why Does it Matter? - National Institute for Early Education Research reviews early care and education enrollment data from 1991 to 2005 and analyzes trends by age groups, family income, racial backgrounds, geographic regions, and mothers’ education and employment status. (National Institute for Early Education Research, November 2007)...

Community Investments Online - This issue of Community Investments from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco features articles on pre-k as an economic and workforce development strategy. (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Fall 2007)...

Education Strategies That Work - In this brief, the Century Foundation posits that high-quality pre-k is an effective strategy for education reform. The brief looks to three examples– the Oklahoma and New Jersey pre-k-for-all programs and New Jersey’s approach in low-income, urban school districts – as evidence. (The Century Foundation, 2007)...

Reducing Poverty through Preschool Interventions - This article argues for an intensive, national pre-k program targeted to "economically disadvantaged" three- and four-year-olds as an anti-poverty strategy. The authors estimate that such a program would cost $8,000 per child annually with an additional $4,000 for "wrap-around" services, but would have a benefit-cost ratio between 4:1 and 7:1 and reduce poverty by 5 to 15 percent. They also point out that this program would confer short-term economic benefits by allowing more parents to enter the workforce. (Future of Children, July 2007)...

Dollars and Sense: A Review of Economic Analyses of Pre-K - This report summarizes and reviews 10 of the most compelling studies on the economic impact of pre-k, including analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. (Albert Wat, Pre-K Now, May 2007)...

An Economic Analysis of Pre-K in Arkansas - This report finds that each dollar invested in the Arkansas Better Chance pre-k program will yield $2.32 in future savings to the state and that offering pre-k to all children would return savings of more than $100 million. (Clive Belfield, Pre-K Now, November 2006)...

The Economic Promise of Investing in High-Quality Preschool: Using Early Education to Improve Economic Growth and the Fiscal Sustainability of States and the Nation - This report summarizes the research on the benefits and economic impact of pre-k, discusses key ingredients in a high-quality program, and considers the costs and financing strategies for these programs. (Committee for Economic Development, 2006)...

A Cost-Analysis of Universally-Accessible Pre-kindergarten Education in Texas - This cost-benefit analysis concludes that a high-quality pre-k for all program in Texas would, even under very conservative assumptions, result in economic returns that outweigh its costs. (Bush School of Government & Public Service, May 2006)...

The Effects of Investing in Early Education on Economic Growth - Researchers conclude that providing high-quality pre-k for all children in the country would add $2 trillion to the annual U.S. GDP by 2080. (Brookings Institution, April 2006) ...

The Economic Benefits of High Quality Early Childhood Programs - This paper explains what made the High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, the Carolina Abecedarian Project, and Chicago's Child-Parent Centers successful, relying, in part, on interviews with the principal investigators of the programs. (Ellen Galinsky, Committee for Economic Development, February 2006)...

The Economic Impact of Early Child Development Programs in West Virginia - Researchers investigate the economic impact of early childhood programs in West Virginia and conclude that they represent “a major tool to be used in economic development for a state or region." (Marshall University, Center for Business and Economic Research, October 2005)...

An Economic Analysis of Four-Year-Old Kindergarten in Wisconsin: Returns to the Education System - This cost-benefit analysis of pre-k in Wisconsin concludes that every state dollar invested in a high-quality program would return 68 cents in savings to Wisconsin's education system.(Clive Belfield and Dennis Winters, Pre-K Now, September 2005)...

An Economic Analysis of Pre-K in Louisiana - This cost-benefit analysis of pre-k in Louisiana concludes that every $1 invested in a high-quality program would produce $2.25 in benefits for the state. (Clive Belfield, Pre-K Now, June 2005) ...

Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise - This RAND report discusses “the potential consequences of not investing additional resources in the lives of children, the range of early intervention programs, the demonstrated benefits of interventions with high-quality evaluations, the features associated with successful programs, and the returns to society associated with investing early in the lives of disadvantaged children." (Lynn Karoly, M. Rebecca Kilburn and Jill Cannon, RAND Corporation, 2005)...

Early Childhood Interventions: Proven Results, Future Promise - This report discusses “the potential consequences of not investing additional resources in the lives of children, the range of early intervention programs, the demonstrated benefits of interventions with high-quality evaluations, the features associated with successful programs, and the returns to society associated with investing early in the lives of disadvantaged children." (RAND Corporation, 2005)...


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