High-Quality Early Education Invests in Communities, Reduces Local Costs
In difficult fiscal times, it is important to invest in effective policies that maximize the state’s resources. Research demonstrates that high-quality early education leads to positive outcomes for our children, our communities and the economy, yielding a substantial return on taxpayers’ investment. Below, evidence shows how increased funding for universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) may benefit communities.
Reduced Educational Costs
High-quality early education improves academic and behavioral outcomes reducing the need for services on which Chapter 70 funds – the state’s primary contribution to local education budgets – are spent.
- Participants in high-quality early education score higher on school readiness tests and demonstrate better social skills and fewer behavioral problems when entering school.
- Children with high-quality early learning experiences typically score higher on school achievement tests between ages 9 and 14 and on adult literacy tests between ages 19 and 27.1, 2
- Low-income children who receive two years of high-quality early education are 40% less likely to need special education or be held back a grade, 30% more likely to graduate from high school, and twice as likely to go to college.3
Reduced Health and Social Services Costs
High-quality early education confronts rising medical costs and increased dependency on social services where Local Aid funds – state aid for local services and infrastructure – are spent.
- Adults who have participated in high-quality early education programs report fewer health problems and engage in fewer high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, drinking and substance abuse.
- Participants in high-quality early education are more likely to possess medical insurance and proactively seek treatment, eliminating the need for more costly procedures when medical emergencies arise, which the state must cover for the uninsured.
- Participants in high-quality early education were 16% less likely to be arrested than non-participants, reducing costs in policing, prosecution and sentencing, and incarceration.4
Reprinted with the permission of the Early Education for All Campaign. © Strategies for Children / Early Education for All. All rights reserved.
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