01/28/2010 - Public investments in early childhood save society money while improving the economy. Period. That is the conclusion of a large body of economic and educational research, including a recent study of early childhood efforts in Michigan.
Our organization, Wilder Research, was commissioned by the Early Childhood Investment Corporation in Michigan to estimate the savings and other economic effects of the early childhood programs that have operated in the state since the mid-1980s. We found that the money Michigan spent over the past 25 years on children before they get to kindergarten saved taxpayers $1.15 billion in 2009.
This Michigan result simply confirms what national studies tell us. A similar conclusion was reached in a recent study by the Partnership for America's Economic Success, a national coalition of business executives, economists and others. They found that states can save money and stimulate their economies in the short and long run by protecting funding for pre-kindergarten and home visiting programs. Reducing such funding increases costs in health, education and social services.
To read the full opinion editorial, "Early Childhood Funds Pay Back in Many Ways," visit freep.com.