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Quality: Why Early Education and School Age Care Matter!!!
"No other social program has the evidence to show this level of savings to society"
("Invest in kids' taken literally" Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 10/24/2003 reporting Federal Reserve study.)
Research has shown:
Specific studies showing economic and societal value of high quality ECE:
- You have about 1,000 days to build a baby’s brain...to create a reader, a communicator, a learner, and a
thinker. (University of Delaware Center for Disabilities Studies)
- 85 percent of who you are—your intellect, your personality, your social skills—is developed by
the age of five. (Massachusetts Early Education for All)
- Children in poverty have learned 5,000 vocabulary words by age five as opposed to 20,000 words learned
by children not living in poverty.” (Delaware Early Success, 1996)
- Youth who participate in after school programs improve significantly in three major areas:
(1) Feelings and attitudes; (2) Increased indicators of behavior adjustment which includes positive
social behaviors and reduction in aggression, conduct problems, and drug use; and (3) Increased school and
achievement test scores. (Delaware After School Alliance)
- After School Children attending quality after school programs improved school attendance by 37%,
class participation by 64%, ability to get along with others by 49% and academic performance by 67%
(21st Century Community Learning Centers)
- More than half of teens say they would not watch so much TV or play video games if they had other things
to do after school. 
Federal Reserve Economists calculates an impressive 16% return on investment in ECE:
Minneapolis Federal Reserve Economist Art Rolnick conducted a Cost-Benefit Analysis on Early Learning
Programs that showed an average Internal Rate of return of 16% for the money invested. The greatest
public return for investment for children in quality ECE was decrease in crime, decrease in welfare
payments, decrease in public education cost, and increase in participants’ earnings/employee benefits.
("Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return")
Children receiving ECE have improved earning power:
A 1997 report by the national Conference of State Legislatures concluded children receiving ECE had
better productivity and earning power. For example, the Abecedarian study found that children in
high quality early care programs can expect to make roughly $143,000 more over their lifetimes than
children not receiving these benefits and mothers of these same children can expect higher
earnings-about $133,000 more over their lifetimes. (National Institute for Early Education)
ECE reduces grade retention and special education, saving public schools’
Sixteen studies of early childhood programs show a reduction in grade retention and special education
that results in significant savings of resources in school systems. For example, one study in Chicago
showed a 40% drop in retention and in special education placement and a 29% higher high school completion
rate for children in ECE programs compared to children who did not benefit from ECE.
Current status of Delaware child care issues:
- Delaware’s child care subsidy program for low income families, called Purchase of Care (POC), now only
reimburses early care and school age providers expected to provide quality care as low as only 57% of the
actual cost of services---leaving providers to either reduce quality, find other revenue or reduce services
to these children who are most in need of quality care.
- Delaware’s Baseline Quality Study conducted by the University of Delaware found that 27% of early
care programs rated poor and developmentally harmful to children.