Early Childhood Education: Great Returns From a Modest Investment — Podcast February 17, 2014

Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later: The Advantages of Investing in Early ChildHood Education. Democratic Perspective co-hosts Mike Cosentino and Steve Williamson are joined by Gary LaMaster, one of Democratic Perspective’s producers, to discuss an extensive study by the University of Minnesota and the University of California Irvine of the effects very early pre-school education (prior to age 3). Earlier studies had indicated that the advantages in learning and socialization conferred by such programs tended to dissipate as children got older. This study, which was much larger, and followed the children for a longer period, found just the opposite. If the results of this study are correct, the potential of such programs to solve many of our most persistent social problems — poverty, crime, and declining productivity — would seem to make investing in them a no-brainer. It’s certainly worth asking why studies such as these aren’t taken more seriously by the politicians who make our public policy.

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