Investments into early childhood education is a pathway for a better tomorrow for our children, our state, and our future. Recently, the Council for a Strong America, a national, bipartisan nonprofit uniting five organizations comprised of law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes, released a report highlighting how pre-k is the key to boosting school success and cutting prison costs in Pennsylvania.
The report goes into depth on the societal benefits that Pennsylvania and our country can see with investments into early childhood education. Providing at-risk kids with high quality early learning programs will contribute to less crime and incarceration in the future. Not only is this better for our children, it saves our state money in the long run. In fact, for every disadvantaged child that participates in a high-quality pre-k program, there is an average “profit ” of more than $29,000 to society for each child served. Governor Wolf proposed a $75 million investment into Pre-K and Head Start programs for the 2017-18 budget, which would give 8,400 children the opportunity to attend a Pre-K program. If that investment goes through, and based on the cost-figure presented in the report on realized profit, Pennsylvania could have a return of more than $244 million over the lifetime of the 8,400 children being helped.
While cost-savings is also a goal for states, the positive outcomes with investment into early learning don’t stop there. The report shows children who participate in Pre-K have fewer behavior problems, better school outcomes, increased reading and math scores, fewer dropouts, less crime, and are less likely to end up in prison. The best thing we can do for our children and our state is to invest in early learning!
Read more about the benefits of Pre-K investment in the report.