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Quality Early Care and Education Pays Off for Two Generations

December 2017

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Early childhood care and education in the United States can be expensive. The average cost of care alone ranges from $9,000 a year to a high of more than $23,000. A new study suggests that some high-quality programs are making a difference and yielding a big payoff.

Every year, millions of kids are enrolled in programs that parents hope will build the foundation for school success.

One parent told Ivanhoe that “Pre-K time is really important and more emphasis needs to be put on that.”

Another parent said, “I wanted him to be learning his ABC’s but also in a fun way.”

But does the cost of early education pay off over a lifetime?

“What we do in this program—what we do that is different—is follow long-term outcomes,” detailed Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, PhD of the University of Chicago.

Researchers analyzed decades of information from two government-funded early childhood programs that served disadvantaged kids from birth to age five. One of these programs, ABC/Care, offered cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. Heckman said that, for every dollar spent on this program, there was a return of more than six dollars.

Heckman explained, “What we are getting is the structure of returns—when we include the health returns—are as high as 14 percent per annum, [which is] a huge benefit-cost ratio.”

Children who participated in the programs had higher test scores and less grade retention. At age 35, their health was better. Men had lower blood pressure and lower drug use. Women had better adult employment.

Researchers say that high-quality programs focus on the whole child, not just academic learning. Parents can look for programs where there is a focus on health—for example, having nurses on staff and developmental screenings. Also, check to see that children are provided with meals and snacks to ensure access to good nutrition—early childhood options that may pay off years down the road.

Professor Heckman said that there is a two-generation impact from high-quality childhood education. Mothers are able to continue their education and enter the workforce due to the availability of child care. For more information about childcare and early education choices, Child Care Aware provides tips and resources for every state at www.childcareaware.org.

Source

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising and Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 


Spanish Translation

Los Efectos De La Educación Escolar Temprana Benefician A Dos Generaciones

CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — En los Estados Unidos, el cuidado y la educación escolar temprana no es barato. El costo promedio  de solo las guarderias oscila entre los 9 y los 23 mil dólares al año. Hoy, un nuevo estudio indica que buenos programas de pre escolar hacen una diferencia y producen excelentes resultados.

Cada año, millones de niños comienzan su educacion a una edad temprana, y sus padres confían en que están sentando los cimientos para el éxito escolar. Pero, ¿esa inversión realmente da dividendos? Investigadores analizaron décadas de informacion provenientesde dos programas gubernamentales. Niños de familias de bajos ingresos recibieron estimulo educacional, social, emocional y físico desde la cuna a los 5 años de edad. James Heckman, Premio Nobel de economía  asegura que por cada dolar invertido en estos programas se obtuvo  mas de seis dolares de beneficio.

Los pequeños participantes  sacaron mejores notas y repitieron menos cursos. A los 35 años gozaban de mejor salud, los hombres tenian la presion arterial mas baja y hubo menos uso de drogas. Las mujeres por su parte obtuvieron mejores empleos.

Segun los investigadores, los programas mas efectivos se concentran en formar el niño completo, no solo en el lado académico. Los padres deben de buscar programas donde la salud es importante, tienen enfermeros en el plantel y se realizan exámenes para determinar el desarrollo del niño. Asimismo, deben de informarse sobre las comidas y meriendas para asegurarse que sus hijos reciben la nutrición apropiada. Para crear temprano un futuro mejor.

Según el profesor Heckman, un cuidado y educacion temprana de calidad tiene un efecto positivo sobre dos generaciones, ya que permita que las madres continuen sus estudios o empleos al contar con guarderías o escuelas para sus pequeños. Para mas informacion sobre programas , servicios y opciones para cada estados pueden visitar www.childcareaware.org

Los contribuyentes a este reportaje incluyen: Cyndy McGrath, Supervisora y Productora de Campo; Milvionne Chery, Productora Assistente; Roque Correa, Editor Y Camarografo.

Producido por Child Trends News Service en asocio con Ivanhoe Broadcast News y auspiciado por una beca de la National Science Foundation.