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The $4 billion deficit: Ratcheting up investment in early childhood education
New York (N.Y.). Office of the Comptroller, June, 2013
New York: New York City, Office of the Comptroller.

An overview of the benefits of investing in early care and education (ECE), and a discussion of policy and funding proposals to increase ECE access in New York City

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Building strong foundations: Pre-k, strong communities and a strong economy
Idaho Kids Count (Program), March, 2014
Boise, ID: Idaho Kids Count.

Currently, Idaho does not invest in early education, except in the case of special needs children. This brief outlines how increased access to early education in Idaho would increase student achievement, strengthen communities, and save public dollars. (author abstract)

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Early childhood education for low-income students: A review of the evidence and benefit-cost analysis
Kay, Noa A., January, 2014
(Document No. 14-01-2201). Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to review "the research evidence on components of successful early education program strategies" for low-income children. In this report, we present findings from our analysis of early childhood education (ECE) research. We conducted this analysis by reviewing all credible evaluation studies from the United States and elsewhere. We systematically analyzed the studies to estimate whether various approaches to ECE have a cause-and-effect relationship with outcomes for low-income students. We then calculated whether the long-term monetary benefits of ECE investments outweigh the costs. Research on ECE programs serving low-income children can provide insight on the effectiveness of Washington's own program, the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). The 2013 Legislature also directed WSIPP to "conduct a comprehensive retrospective outcome evaluation and return on investment analysis" of ECEAP. That evaluation will be completed by December 2014. The full legislative direction to WSIPP is in Exhibit 1 (next page). In this report, we first describe WSIPP's approach to systematic research reviews and benefit-cost analysis. We then highlight our findings on the average effectiveness of ECE for low-income children. (author abstract)

Literature Review


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Early childhood investments substantially boost adult health
Campbell, Frances A., 28 March, 2014
Science, 343(6178), 1478-1485

High-quality early childhood programs have been shown to have substantial benefits in reducing crime, raising earnings, and promoting education. Much less is known about their benefits for adult health. We report on the long-term health effects of one of the oldest and most heavily cited early childhood interventions with long-term follow-up evaluated by the method of randomization: the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC). Using recently collected biomedical data, we find that disadvantaged children randomly assigned to treatment have significantly lower prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in their mid-30s. The evidence is especially strong for males. The mean systolic blood pressure among the control males is 143 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), whereas it is only 126 mm Hg among the treated. One in four males in the control group is affected by metabolic syndrome, whereas none in the treatment group are affected. To reach these conclusions, we address several statistical challenges. We use exact permutation tests to account for small sample sizes and conduct a parallel bootstrap confidence interval analysis to confirm the permutation analysis. We adjust inference to account for the multiple hypotheses tested and for nonrandom attrition. Our evidence shows the potential of early life interventions for preventing disease and promoting health. (author abstract)

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Early childhood pay for success social impact finance: Organizational steps, memorandum of understanding and contract outlines
ReadyNation. Working Group on Contracts in Early Childhood Social Impact Finance, 10 June, 2013
Washington, DC: ReadyNation.

A discussion and presentation of contract models for funding early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs through the use of pay for success social impact financing, which funds ECCE services and then repays investors out of savings arising from reduced special education costs in the future

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Economic impacts of the child care industry
Center for Strategic Economic Research, 20 June, 2013
Auburn, CA: First 5 Placer.

In order to develop a greater understanding of the child care industry's economic effects throughout the statewide and local economies, a group of child care coordinating entities in Central and Northern California engaged the Center for Strategic Economic Research (CSER) to conduct a high-level gross economic impact analysis. CSER developed a conservative estimate of the direct contributions of the child care industry based on analysis of data covering full-time, part-time, and temporary jobs along with the related economic value of the services provided. In order to quantify the full range of economic impacts associated with the industry's activities, CSER utilized the IMPLAN input-output model (see the Technical Notes section at the end of this report for a discussion of the economic impact methodology, including the effects and variables measured). CSER analyzed the economic impacts specifically within each of the ten counties represented by the group of child care coordinating entities, displayed in the map to the right (Colusa, El Dorado, Merced, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba Counties), as well as the combined 10-County Service area and the state of California. This brief report provides an overview of the statewide and Service Area impacts and includes information on the impacts within each of the 10 counties. (author abstract)

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The effect of Early Head Start on child welfare system involvement: A first look at longitudinal child maltreatment outcomes
Green, Beth L., July, 2014
Children and Youth Services Review, 42(), 127-135

The high societal and personal costs of child maltreatment make identification of effective early prevention programs a high research priority. Early Head Start (EHS), a dual generational program serving low-income families with children prenatally through age three years, is one of the largest federally funded programs for infants and toddlers in the United States. A national randomized trial found EHS to be effective in improving parent and child outcomes, but its effectiveness in reducing child maltreatment was not assessed. The current study used administrative data from state child welfare agencies to examine the impact of EHS on documented abuse and neglect among children from seven of the original seventeen programs in the national EHS randomized controlled trial. Results indicated that children in EHS had significantly fewer child welfare encounters between the ages of five and nine years than did children in the control group, and that EHS slowed the rate of subsequent encounters. Additionally, compared to children in the control group, children in EHS were less likely to have a substantiated report of physical or sexual abuse, but more likely to have a substantiated report of neglect. These findings suggest that EHS may be effective in reducing child maltreatment among low-income children, in particular, physical and sexual abuse. (author abstract)

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Effect of the Nurse Family Partnership on government expenditures for vulnerable first-time mothers and their children in Elmira, New York, Memphis, Tennessee, and Denver, Colorado
Glazner, Judy,
Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families.

We conducted an economic analysis of the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) in the context of three randomized trials we are carrying out to examine long-term effects of the NFP on maternal, child, and family functioning. The study we have conducted is a net-cost analysis from the standpoint of government spending. (author abstract)

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Financing human capital development for economically disadvantaged children: Applying pay for success social impact finance to early child development
Dubno, Janis A., 10 June, 2013
Washington, DC: ReadyNation.

A discussion of two models for funding early childhood care and education (ECCE) programs through the use of pay for success social impact financing, which funds ECCE services and then repays investors out of savings arising from reduced special education costs in the future

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Full-day kindergarten: A review of the evidence and benefit-cost analysis
Kay, Noa A., January, 2014
(Document No. 14-01-2202). Olympia: Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

The Washington State legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to develop "a repository of research and evaluations of the cost-benefits of various K-12 educational programs and services." In this report, we analyze a K?12 policy question: do the long-term benefits of full-day kindergarten (in comparison with half-day) outweigh the costs? We researched this question by reviewing all credible evaluation studies from the United States and elsewhere. We systematically analyzed the studies to estimate whether full-day kindergarten has a cause-and-effect relationship with student outcomes. We then calculated whether the long-term monetary benefits of full-day kindergarten exceed the operating and capital costs. In this report, we describe our research approach and highlight our findings on full-day kindergarten. An appendix provides technical details. (author abstract)

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Getting the most bang for the buck: Quality early education and care: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Children and Families of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, United States Senate, One Hundred Twelfth Congress, First session, On examining quality early education and care, June 9, 2011
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Subcommittee on Children and Families, 2013
(S. Hrg. 112-801). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

A hearing on the role of high-quality early education and care in supporting children's development

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I'm the guy you pay later: Sheriffs, chiefs and prosecutors urge America to cut crime by investing now in high-quality early education and care
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2013
Washington, DC: Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.

A discussion of the role that investing in early learning programs can play in crime prevention

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Is universal child care leveling the playing field?
Havnes, Tarjei, November, 2012
(CESifo Working Paper No. 4014). Munich, Germany: CESifo.

Many developed countries currently consider a move towards a universal child care program. The challenge in assessing the case for universal child care programs is that the evidence base is scarce. We analyze the staged expansion of subsidized, universally accessible child care in Norway. Our approach differs from existing literature which estimate mean impacts of universal child care programs; in contrast, we use non-linear difference-in-differences methods to estimate quantile treatment effects, showing how the child care expansion affected the earnings distribution of exposed children as adults. We complement these estimates with local linear regressions of the child care effects by family income. Our findings suggest that the effects of child care vary systematically across the earnings distribution, that the mean impact misses a lot, and that children of low income parents seem to be the primary beneficiaries of subsidized child care. These findings are important when considering the case for universal child care programs, since the benefits of providing subsidized child care to middle and upper-class children are unlikely to exceed the costs. To help understand the differential effects on earnings, we examine how the child care expansion affected the educational trajectories and cognitive test scores of the exposed children. (author abstract)

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Long-term effects of Head Start on low-income children
Ludwig, Jens, June, 2008
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1136(), 257-268

A growing body of research suggests that the first few years of life are a particularly promising time to intervene in the lives of low-income children, although the long-term effects on children of the U.S. government's primary early childhood program - Head Start - remains the topic of debate. In this article we review what is known about Head Start and argue that the program is likely to generate benefits to participants and society as a whole that are large enough to justify the program's costs. Although in principle there could be more beneficial ways of deploying Head Start resources, the benefits of such changes remain uncertain and there is some downside risk. (author abstract)

Literature Review


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Long-term follow-up of a preschool experiment
Schweinhart, Lawrence J., December, 2013
Journal of Experimental Criminology, 9(4), 389-409

This study was designed to provide experimental evidence of the effects of a preschool program on young children living in poverty. It began as a program evaluation but now, half a century later, serves as a test of the long-term effects and return on investment of high-quality preschool education for young children living in poverty. Methods This study was conducted in the U.S., beginning in the 1960s, and has generated data on study participants from birth through 40, with new data now being collected at age 50. The study used random assignment procedures to assign 123 children to a preschool program and a control group who receive no preschool program. Results Program participants surpassed non-participants in intellectual performance at school entry, school achievement throughout schooling, commitment to schooling, high school graduation rate, adult employment rate and earnings, reduced childhood antisocial behavior, and reduced adult crime and incarceration. The program's return on investment was at least seven times as great as its operating cost. Conclusions While these powerful results have been found not only in this study but in several similar studies, they have not been found in studies of larger preschool programs, such as the Head Start Impact Study. This discrepancy suggests that differences between the two types of programs account for the better results found in studies such as this one. Among these differences are highly qualified teachers, a valid child development curriculum, extensive engagement of parents, and regular assessment of program implementation and children's development (author abstract)

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Making Maine work: Investment in young children = real economic development
Maine Development Foundation, January, 2012
Augusta, ME: Maine Development Foundation.

An overview of the long-term benefits of high-quality early care and education, and recommendations to improve the early care and education offerings in Maine

Other


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Making Maine work: Investment in young children = real economic development [Executive summary]
Maine Development Foundation, January, 2012
Augusta, ME: Maine Development Foundation.

A summary of an overview of the long-term benefits of high-quality early care and education, and recommendations to improve the early care and education offerings in Maine

Executive Summary


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Pre-kindergarten: An investment in Montana's future
Montana Budget and Policy Center, Fall 2013
Helena, MT: Montana Budget and Policy Center.

A discussion and estimates of the benefits of publicly-funded preschool for Montana

Fact Sheets & Briefs


Raising smart, healthy kids in every state: Expanding early education initiatives with funding from the federal tobacco tax
National Women's Law Center, 25 September, 2013
Washington, DC: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

An estimation of the health, educational, social, and financial benefits for each state of a proposal to expand federal early education funding through an increased tobacco tax

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School readiness in Montgomery County is worth $68,000 per low-income child
Wilder Research Center, March, 2013
St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research Center.

A summary of an examination of cost savings to Montgomery County, Ohio, of preparing an at risk child for school through early childhood education, based on school graduation and expenditure data, poverty and crime rates, and other data for Montgomery County, and on estimates of the measured influence of early childhood education programs from research literature

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School starting age and crime
Landerso, Rasmus, February, 2013
(Economics Working Papers 2013-03). Aarhus, Denmark: Aarhus universitet, Institut for okonomi (Aarhus University, School of Economics and Management).

This paper investigates the effects of school starting age on crime while relying on variation in school starting age induced by administrative rules; we exploit that Danish children typically start first grade in the calendar year they turn seven, which gives rise to a discontinuity in children's school starting age. Analyses are carried out using register-based Danish data. We find that higher age at school start lowers the propensity to commit crime, but that this reduction is caused by incapacitation while human capital accumulation is unaffected. Importantly, we also find that the individuals who benefit most from being old-for-grade are those with high latent abilities whereas those with low latent ability seem to be unaffected by being old-for-grade in school. (author abstract)

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The short- and long-term impacts of large public early care and education programs
United States. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, March, 2014
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

Research consistently finds that high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs promote children's school readiness and other positive outcomes. This brief describes what's known about the short- and long-term impacts of large public (i.e., at-scale) ECE programs in the United States for children prior to kindergarten entry--including what key features of programs lead to the best outcomes, and how to sustain program benefits as children grow older. This brief does not include the many smaller ECE programs, including model or demonstration programs in the U.S. and abroad, that have also been evaluated; please see other reports for information on the short- and long-term impacts of these programs. (author abstract)

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Understanding the mechanisms through which an influential early childhood program boosted adult outcomes
Heckman, James J., October, 2013
The American Economic Review, 103(6), 2052-2086

A growing literature establishes that high quality early childhood interventions targeted toward disadvantaged children have substantial impacts on later life outcomes. Little is known about the mechanisms producing these impacts. This paper uses longitudinal data on cognitive and personality skills from an experimental evaluation of the influential Perry Preschool program to analyze the channels through which the program boosted both male and female participant outcomes. Experimentally induced changes in personality skills explain a sizable portion of adult treatment effects. (author abstract)

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Universal child care, maternal employment, and children's long-run outcomes: Evidence from the U.S. Lanham Act of 1940
Herbst, Chris M., December, 2013
(Discussion Paper No. 7846). Bonn, Germany: Institute for the Study of Labor.

This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the Lanham Act of 1940, a heavily subsidized and universal child care program that was administered throughout the U.S. during World War II. I begin by estimating the impact of the Lanham Act on maternal employment using 1940 and 1950 Census data in a difference-in-difference-in-differences framework. The evidence suggests that mothers' paid work increased substantially following the introduction of the child care program. I then study the implications of the Lanham Act for children's long-run outcomes related to educational attainment, family formation, and labor market participation. Using Census data from 1970 to 1990, I assess well-being in a lifecycle framework by tracking cohorts of treated individuals throughout their prime working years. Results from difference-in-differences models suggest that the Lanham Act had strong and persistent positive effects on well-being, equivalent to a 0.36 standard deviation increase in a summary index of adult outcomes. In addition, a supplementary analysis of distributional effects shows that the benefits of the Lanham Act accrued largely to the most economically disadvantaged adults. Together, these findings shed light on the design of contemporary child care systems that balance the twin goals of increasing parental employment and enhancing child well-being. (author abstract)

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Using Pay for Success financing to improve outcomes for South Carolina's children: Results of a feasibility study
Golden, Megan, September, 2013
Greenville, SC: Institute for Child Success.

The Institute for Child Success, with funding from The Duke Endowment and South Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, studied the feasibility of using Pay for Success, an innovative new financing mechanism, to improve outcomes for South Carolina's youth. The study found that it is feasible for the state to use this mechanism to scale up proven early childhood programs such as the Nurse-Family Partnership, a home visiting program for low-income first-time mothers. Pay for Success could improve the health and prospects of the state's youth and use public-private partnerships to make government more accountable and efficient. (author abstract)

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Research Connections is supported by grant #90YE0104 from the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the National Center for Children in Poverty and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, the Administration for Children and Families, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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