Making the case
Investing in early childhood works
We focus on the early years because we know that expanding and providing access to high-quality early care and education is among the smartest investments that we can make. Research has shown that the first years in a child’s life – when most of their brain is forming – sets the foundation for success in school and in life. To thrive and become productive adults, all children need: strong families, good health, quality learning opportunities, and supportive communities.
Four numbers to remember
who recall having 7 or 8 serious adverse experiences during their childhood are 3 times more likely to have cardiovascular disease as an adult. A growing body of evidence now links significant adversity in childhood to increased risk of a range of adult health problems, including diabetes, hypertension, stroke, obesity, and some forms of cancer.
for every dollar invested in early childhood programs. Providing young children with a healthy environment in which to learn and grow is not only good for their development—economists have also shown that high-quality early childhood programs bring impressive returns on investment to the public. Three of the most rigorous long-term studies found a range of returns between $4 and $9 for every dollar invested in early learning programs for low-income children.
Without a high-quality early childhood education at-risk children are:
25% more likely to drop out of school
40% more likely to become a teen parent
50% more likely to be placed in special education
60% more likely to never attend college
70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime