...against fictions and other tall tales

Thursday, 18 July 2013

"You want to make sure you have sustainable economic growth? Invest in your kids"

Those words are from Art Rolnick, former senior VP of the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis. They're from a recently released video entitled The Raising of America - Are we Crazy about our Kids?

The basic message of the video is that investing in early childhood pays off in the long run. Here's what economist James Heckman has to say about one of the studies that concluded high-quality early childhood learning is beneficial to a child's performance later in life:
"What did we learn? Many things. It's very successful in terms of the economic performance of the children. For each dollar invested you get back somewhere between 7 and 10 percent rate of return per year over the lifetime of the child. Which is a huge rate of return."
Behind this impressive rate of return are large amount of statistics showing that the children who were enrolled in a high-quality early childhood program performed significantly better in school (and later in life) than those who weren't:
"They found that the children that were in the high-quality program were less likely to be retained in the first grade, were less likely to need "special ed", were more likely to be literate by the sixth grade, graduate high school, get a job, pay taxes and start a family. And the crime rate between the two groups -- the randomized group and the control group -- the crime rate goes down by 50 percent. So those look like pretty good outcomes."
A very smart production.


  1. As a parent of three children (now in their teens) and former grade school teacher, I am ABSOLUTELY SOLD on the idea of an affordable, high quality and accessible early childhood care programs. This documentary simply demonstrates what everyone has known INTUITIVELY. It's COMMON SENSE: it assists parents in raising kids while allowing them (dad AND mom) to stay employed and PAY TAXES. Thank you for posting this documentary.

    1. Glad to hear you liked the link.

      Note to readers: I'll be away for a week so I won't be able to comment until then.

  2. "There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies." - Winston Churchill