Early Childhood Education has Widespread and Long Lasting Benefits

Source: Special Report, TD Economics, November 27, 2012

Excerpt: "Education and skills development unlock the potential of individuals and shapes the quality of their lives. Learning takes place in all stages of life, and the biggest impact happens early in life. While it is well acknowledged that primary, secondary and post-secondary schooling develops and enhances key life skills and abilities, the learning that occurs during the first few years of life can have important, long-lasting effects that are often underestimated. There is a great deal of literature showing overwhelming benefits of high-quality, early childhood education – gains not only for children, but for parents and the economy as a whole. A large number of studies estimate that the benefits of early learning far outweigh the costs. Indeed, the analysis shows that for every dollar invested, the return ranges from roughly 1.5 to almost 3 dollars, with the benefit ratio for disadvantaged children being in the double digits. One needs to acknowledge, however, that quantifying these benefits is not an exact science and a large margin of error likely exists. So, the benefit/cost ratio must be interpreted with caution. Nevertheless, with an unquestionable number of positive effects, it is evident that more focus should be put on investing in, and improving, the early learning system."

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