Ben Bernanke is the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Recently he wrote an article for the March 3, 2011 New York Times on the subject of early childhood education (ECE). In light of California’s budget crisis and the fear that education could be one of the budget victims, here are 4 reasons early childhood education is a must.
- Cost-effective K-12 schooling is crucial to building a better workforce.
- ECE promotes lifelong gaining of skills.
- Preschool programs for disadvantaged children have been shown to increase high school graduation rates.
- High school graduates have higher earnings, pay more taxes, and are less likely to use public health programs, compared to those who do not graduate from high school.
Early childhood education pays back. Research shows that for every $1 invested in ECE today results in budgetary savings of $2.50 to $17 in the years ahead. The savings come from increased earnings and tax revenues based on those earnings which results in decreased use of social services and lower costs to states and communities.
ECE is not a luxury. It is a foundational block in the creation of an informed and productive society.