Why Governments Should Invest in Early Education
July 1, 2008
By Barnett, W. S. (2008)
The fact that we can improve the learning, development, and life course of children through early educational investments does not mean that there is an economic rationale for such investments. An economic case for such investments requires estimates of their costs and benefits. Fortunately, three rigorous cost-benefit analyses have been conducted based on longitudinal studies through adulthood. These studies constitute a kind of Rosetta stone for interpreting the broader evidence on investments in early education.
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.