The authors highlight the research efforts, led by CEHD Director James Heckman and Schaeffer Center Director Dana Goldman, on the costs and benefits of The Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC) and the Carolina Approach to Responsive Education (CARE), two essentially identical early childhood programs.
“ABC/CARE represents a 13.7 percent per-year, return on investment (tax-adjusted),” the authors write. “Our benefit/cost analysis predicts the program generates a benefit of over $7 for every dollar spent.”
Bails and Garcia conclude that it is essential for policy makers not to focus on the short-term academic gains of early childhood education. “The more relevant measure of value is the long-term health, social and economic benefits produced,” they write. “We have powerful evidence that high-quality early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for supporting life-long health outcomes, promoting economic growth, and reducing social costs.”