Journal Article

Costs, Benefits, and Long-Term Effects of Early Care and Education Programs

Recommendations and Cautions for Community 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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The Authors

W. Steven (Steve) Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and the founder and Senior Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. Dr. Barnett’s work primarily focuses on public policies regarding early childhood education, child care, and child development.