Costs, Benefits, and Long-Term Effects of Early Care and Education Programs: Recommendations and Cautions for Community Developmers

W. Steven Barnett and Debra J. Ackerman
This paper discusses the costs and benefits related to implementing early childhood education programs, including the effects on children's learning and development

This article, published in the Journal of the Community Development Society, Volume 27, Number 2, reviews the basis for claims related to the costs, benefits, and long-term effects of early childhood education programs, including effects on children’s learning and development as well as parental earnings. The paper provides of a summary of what is known about the extent to which variations in child and program characteristics and the community context alter the magnitude of benefits from preschool education programs, as well as policy choices that could increase educational gains and other benefits, thus increasing the return on public investments.

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