Maine’s Prosperity Relies on Today’s Early Childhood Development
Maine’s prosperity is directly linked to how we treat our youngest children. Early experiences set the developmental trajectory for lifelong learning and health. Maine needs our youngest children to grow up strong, vital and prepared for the workforce. Promoting early childhood experiences that are nurturing, stable, and interactive for all young children regardless of income or where they live, and preventing adverse experiences, can lift
THE ECONOMICS OF INVESTING IN EARLY CHILDHOOD
Economist and University of Maine Professor Philip A. Trostel, PhD examined the cost benefit of investment in high quality early care and education in Maine. His report, published in 2013, Path to a Better Future, The Fiscal Payoff for Investment in Early Childhood in Maine, was commissioned by a group of nonpartisan organizations, individuals, business leaders and philanthropies.
Dr. Trostel’s analysis assumed the participation of low income children between the ages of birth and four years old in an integrated system of high quality early care and education that included comprehensives services and intensive parent engagement with home visiting. The results were staggering–if implemented, tax revenues would increase due to higher education and earning potential; government spending would decrease in prisons and jails, juvenile corrections, child protection, Medicaid, and special education; and families would rely less on social assistance.
In economic terms, the real fiscal internal rate of return on investment In early childhood programs to be 7.5%. Over five years, the cost of increased investment among participating low income infants and toddlers would cost $26,200 per child but Maine would realize a total lifetime government savings (fiscal benefit) for each child of $125,400. The more immediate government savings per child during the school years (K-12) would be $25,700 and the initial public cost would be fully recovered by age 14. After that the program would pay for itself many times over.
Please follow the work of the Maine Children’s Growth Council and read on to find out how you can help lay the foundation for your child and for Maine’s future. Contact us today for more information.