A Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Abecedarian Early Childhood Intervention

September 2002

For every dollar spent on high-quality early education programs, taxpayers can expect four dollars in benefits. These programs not only lead to greater academic success, they boost lifetime earnings for participants and their mothers.

"A Benefit-Cost Analysis of the Abecedarian Early Childhood Intervention"

National Institute for Early Education Research (2002)


Researchers at the National Institute of Early Education Research (NIEER) recently conducted a benefit-cost analysis of one of the nation’s most respected early education programs, the Abecedarian Early Childhood Intervention project in North Carolina. While other studies showed the children enrolled in the program fared significantly better in school and had better prospects as young adults, the new research set out to assess whether the cost to society was worth the benefits. The bottom line? Taxpayers received a four-to-one return on their investment, in addition to significant social dividends and including better school success. Not only that, the study also shows significantly higher lifetime earnings for both the children and their mothers.

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