Why Early Childhood Education Is ImportantBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
In a study published last December 12, the Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman of the University of Chicago and his colleagues found out that early childhood education can result in healthier adults who have better careers and higher incomes and are less involved in crimes. This means that investing in a child's early education can result in bigger returns in the future.
This research is based on the 35 participants whom the team of researchers followed until their mid-30s. They discovered that for every dollar spent on every group of kids can create $6.30 worth in investment return.
"It is hard to find early-life investments that more than pay for themselves through significant health gains," said Dana Goldman, director of the USC Schaeffer Center. "The long-term health benefits researchers discovered for males in particular are truly remarkable and underscore the critical need to increase investment in our nation's youngest children."
Heckman said that high standards of early childhood education will not only help one generation but two, because while children are enrolled to school and building skills for their success in the future, parents will also have more time establishing their own careers and earn more in the course of time.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Heckman also added that even if the costs of high quality programs cost $16000 to $18000, this could still bring in more social benefits.
Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California, said research like that of Heckman is very helpful and effective when it comes to making policymakers see the benefits of early childhood education which gives focus on developing a child's cognitive skills as well as shaping their social and emotional learning.
"We can only hope that this research will push forward an investment in those early years that we know will be a positive benefit for young children and their families - and it couldn't come too soon." She added.