FriedmanArticle - The New Economics of Preschool New findings methods and strategies for increasing economic investments in early care and

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The New Economics of Preschool New findings, methods and strategies for increasing economic investments in early care and education Prepared by Dana E. Friedman, Ed.D. For the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative October 2004 Permission to copy or reprint is not required, but appropriate credit must be given to the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative and to the author Dana E. Friedman, Ed.D.
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The New Economics of Preschool THE NEW ECONOMICS OF PRESCHOOL New findings, methods and strategies for increasing economic investments in early care and education Prepared by Dana E. Friedman, Ed.D. 1 for the Early Childhood Funders’ Collaborative Those concerned with adequate funding for quality early care and education have a new arsenal of tools with which to make their claims. Economists from various academic, business and government organizations have applied new economic models to early care and education and generated dollar figures for what investments in early childhood services can yield for the economy in the short- and long-term. These exciting new developments are the result of a confluence of several strands of research and practice that challenge traditional assumptions: o There are now several long-term studies that have followed graduates of early learning programs through adulthood and documented significant savings in the area of remedial education, school drop outs, welfare and crime. The studies conclude that improvements to social and emotional well-being yield greater returns than a focus exclusively on cognitive gains. o Neuroscientists armed with new technologies have created startling insights into how the brain works and what inputs are needed to optimize its development. These data, accompanied by colorful, computer- generated pictures of the brain, both stimulated and unstimulated, suggest economic savings from investments in early learning, particularly in the area of social and emotional development. o Building on the longitudinal studies and brain research, economists have begun to quantify the economic importance of early care and education in both the short- and long-term. This pioneering work is due, in part, to a desire to create appropriate economic models for today’s service economy, where most workers provide services, versus a manufacturing economy, where most people work to produce goods. Early childhood programs are services that have been absent from current economic theories, however, they are now being used in the design of pioneering economic modeling. This body of work is gaining attention at all levels of government and within the business community. It builds on a foundation of work that has lead to a general acceptance of the 1 The paper was written with assistance from Louise Stoney of Stoney Associates. October 2004
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2010 for the course ECO 1101 taught by Professor Sparr during the Fall '05 term at St.Francis College.

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FriedmanArticle - The New Economics of Preschool New findings methods and strategies for increasing economic investments in early care and

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