Menu Close

Research on economic benefits and costs of quality preK programs and facilities

Economics and Finance

Does It Pay to Invest in Preschool for All? Analyzing Return-on-Investment in Three States


March 2006
Clive R. Belfield

This NIEER working paper summarizes three studies projecting the economic consequences of expanding preschool programs toward universal enrollment in three states - Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The Macroeconomics of Pre-Schooling: Simulating the Effects of Universal Early Childhood Education on the U.S. Economy


March 2006
Clive R. Belfield and Andre Neveu

In this NIEER working paper, the authors use a general equilibrium macroeconomic model to estimate the economic consequences of a large-scale, publicly-funded preschool program.

How Much Does Quality Preschool Cost?


March 2006

There is abundant evidence demonstrating that states should fund quality preschool programs. However, there is less research available to suggest how much funding is necessary for programs to achieve their desired effects. This NIEER report presents current state spending on preschool, identifies some aspects of programs that are clearly related to cost, and offers estimates of the state commitment necessary to achieve various levels of access and quality.

The Effects of Investing in Early Education on Economic Growth


January 2006

This paper develops a model that takes into account a wide range of assumptions for determining the long-term effects of early education on growth and the national economy.

Policy Report – Overlooked Benefits of Prekindergarten


March 2005

Studies suggest that prekindergarten can strengthen a child’s commitment and attitude toward school, enhance the parenting skills of children’s parents, and have positive impacts on family relationships. This policy report summarizes research findings about these wider benefits of early education.

Policy Report – The Benefits of Prekindergarten for Middle Income Children


March 2005

This policy report analyzes what the research says about access to and gains made in high-quality preschool programs by children from middle-income families. Recommendations include expanding publicly funded preschool programs to include middle-income children and strengthening standards for child care and early education programs.

Effects of Preschool on Educational Achievement


March 2005
Luis M. Laosa

Can current school reform policies like the No Child Left Behind Act close the achievement gap?

Policy Brief – Class Size: What’s the Best Fit?


December 2004

This policy brief examines how class size and staff-child ratios affect quality, educational effectiveness, and cost of preschool programs.

Policy Brief – The Universal vs. Targeted Debate: Should the United States Have Preschool for All?


April 2004

The debate over universal vs. targeted preschool programs is explored in this policy brief. Policy recommendations include a gradual move toward voluntary universal preschool programs with federal matching funds used to encourage states to fund high-quality preschool for all.

Policy Brief – Investing in Head Start Teachers


September 2003

What will it cost to give Head Start the tools it needs to succeed? This brief includes information on the qualifications and compensation of Head Start teachers and discusses the issues surrounding the push towards raising both.