Business Leaders, Policy Makers and Advocates Gather to Discuss Strategies for Securing the Nation's Economy by Investing in Early Childhood

  • February 28, 2008

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Close to 150 business leaders, policy makers, and advocates will convene today at the Milken Institute for the West Coast Economic Forum on Early Childhood Investment to discuss strengthening the United States economy through proven investments in children.  The Partnership for America's Economic Success, which is managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts, and the Milken Institute are co-hosting the forum to develop strategies, policies, and practices for building human capital by investing in children prenatal to age five.  The Partnership will release three new research studies at the forum, which highlight the economic benefits of investing in early childhood programs and raising poor families out of poverty. 

“Business leaders are already aware that investing in early childhood can strengthen economic development and can provide the country with the work force we need to stay competitive,” said Robert Dugger, managing director of the Tudor Investment Corporation and Advisory Board chair of the Partnership for America's Economic Success.  “This new research emphasizes more than ever how important it is to invest in children in their first years of life in order to strengthen our position in this increasingly global marketplace.”

The three new research studies, conducted by Greg Duncan of Northwestern University, William Dickens of the University of Maryland, and Timothy Bartik of the Upjohn Institute, conclude that strategic investments in children can have significant positive impacts on those children, their families, and the nation's fiscal health.  Duncan finds that raising young children out of poverty not only pays for itself, on average, in increased adult earnings, but also provides benefits to society through taxpayer savings.  Dickens and Bartik conclude that implementing proven childhood programs on a large scale would produce greater job growth and earnings, and boost future GDP and government revenues.

The researchers will present these findings at the forum, and business and policy leaders will engage in discussions on how to increase early-childhood investments to further economic growth.  Speakers at the conference include Colorado Lieutenant Governor Barbara O'Brien, McKinsey Global Institute Chairman Lenny Mendonca, Milken Institute Chairman Michael Milken, Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman, and Kiwanis International President Dave Curry.

“The Milken Institute believes that investing in human capital is a key tenet in any national, organizational or individual path to sustainable prosperity,” said Mike Klowden, CEO and President of the Milken Institute.   “Today's forum is part of our commitment to the research, innovation and action needed to realize the benefits of early-childhood investment and ensure the strength of the future workforce.”

Other conference attendees include Richard Atlas of the Atlas Family Foundation and formerly of Goldman Sachs and Co., Ted Lempert of Children Now, and Bernard Guyer of Johns Hopkins University.

For a full conference agenda, please visit www.PartnershipforSuccess.org.

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, independent economic think tank whose mission is to improve the lives and economic conditions of diverse populations around the world by helping business and public policy leaders identify and implement innovative ideas for creating broad-based prosperity. It is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information, please visit www.milkeninstitute.org.

The Partnership for America's Economic Success was created by a group of business leaders, economists, advocates, and a dozen funders in order to document the economic impacts to the nation of proven investments in children from before birth and to age five. The Partnership is managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts.  For more information, please visit www.PartnershipforSuccess.org.

Research Briefs:
Economic Costs Of Early Childhood Poverty
Long-Term Economic Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Programs

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