Child Care and Early Education Research Connections

Skip to main content

Early childhood education to promote health equity: A Community Guide economic review

Share
Description:
Context: A recent Community Guide systematic review found that early childhood education (ECE) programs improve educational, social, and health-related outcomes and advance health equity because many are designed to increase enrollment for high-risk children. This follow-up economic review examines how the economic benefits of center-based ECE programs compare with their costs. Evidence Acquisition: Kay and Pennucci from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy, whose meta-analysis formed the basis of the Community Guide effectiveness review, conducted a benefit-cost analysis of ECE programs for low-income children in Washington State. We performed an electronic database search using both effectiveness and economic key words to identify additional cost-benefit studies published through May 2015. Kay and Pennucci also provided us with national-level benefit-cost estimates for state and district and federal Head Start programs. Evidence Synthesis: The median benefit-to-cost ratio from 11 estimates of earnings gains, the major benefit driver for 3 types of ECE programs (ie, state and district, federal Head Start, and model programs), was 3.39:1 (interquartile interval [IQI] = 2.48-4.39). The overall median benefit-to-cost ratio from 7 estimates of total benefits, based on all benefit components including earnings gains, was 4.19:1 (IQI = 2.62-8.60), indicating that for every dollar invested in the program, there was a return of $4.19 in total benefits. Conclusions: ECE programs promote both equity and economic efficiency. Evidence indicates there is positive social return on investment in ECE irrespective of the type of ECE program. The adoption of a societal perspective is crucial to understand all costs and benefits of ECE programs regardless of who pays for the costs or receives the benefits. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Country:
United States

- You May Also Like

These resources share similarities with the current selection. They are found by comparing the topic, author, and resource type of the currently selected resource to the rest of the library’s publications.

Virginia Preschool Initiative Plus cost study: Final report

Reports & Papersview

Benefit-cost analysis of Pre-K 4 SA: Technical report

Reports & Papersview

A comprehensive, multisystemic early childhood program and obesity at age 37 years

Reports & Papersview