SOURCE: Carousel Day School

April 11, 2013 06:00 ET

Carousel Day School Comments on Costs and Benefits of Investing in Early Learning

The Team at Carousel Day School Is Issuing Comment on New Findings Regarding the Costs and Possible Benefits of Investing in Early Childhood Education Programs

LONG ISLAND, NY--(Marketwired - Apr 11, 2013) - Carousel Day School has served children on Long Island for 57 years, and is fully accredited by the New York State Department of Education. Now, the professionals at the educational facility are reviewing new information that discusses the costs and benefits of investing in early childhood education.

Some education researchers believe that early childhood learning offers a fruitful return on investment in many areas. Kids who participate in these programs have better college-attendance rates, higher employment, and heftier incomes than their peers who don't participate, according to several studies. The government also benefits from children's enrollment since they end up saving money due to lower crime rates and reduced use of social programs.

At his State of the Union in February, President Obama lent his support to making "high quality" preschool available to every boy or girl in America, stating, "every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on." The President proposed a federal-state partnership to make public preschool available to every child whose family's income is under twice the poverty line and to give states incentives to expand access for kids from wealthier families.

The team at Carousel Day School is speaking out on the President's support stating, "The education a child receives early in life plays a crucial role in their later success. The President's support is important in ensuring that these programs get the funding and attention they deserve. All children deserve the right to start off strong, and comprehensive preschool programs help to make this possible."

However, not all parties agree with President Obama's sentiments regarding early childhood education. Though some reviews have found returns as high as $17 per student when it comes to early learning programs, others have shown smaller ones of only $2 or $3 per child. The $7 figure is from studies of two programs that serve primarily African-American kids from low-income families, and may not necessarily apply to other groups.

These numbers come from a study of a program in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where 123 African-American students were divided randomly between those assigned to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program and those who weren't. Some early studies of the program illustrated the benefits of $7 for every $1 spent. Once the kids hit 30 and 40, benefits began to reach 17 to one.

Though this particular study was promising, some politicians and policy makers have a problem with waiting so long to see a return on their investment. Other researchers have also illustrated statistical differences from this original research. In 2009, researchers from the University of Chicago investigated the data and found an annual rate of return of only seven or 10 percent, which is lower than the figures reported in the earlier studies. 

Though results may still be inconclusive, those in support of preschool programs note that they do not need to see a return of $7 per student in order to make their programs worthwhile. Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, who is a professor of child development at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, notes, "I would be pleased with a two-to-one ratio."

The team at Carousel Day School states, "Though the findings may differ and require more research, it is still apparent that children require strong educational experiences early in their lives. We can't lose sight of this as we continue to work on collecting more data."

The professionals at Carousel Day School explain that ensuring that all children get valuable learning experiences from a young age, even at home, is an important part of raising a generation of positive people who contribute to society in a meaningful way.

ABOUT:

Carousel Day School is a renowned educational facility on Long Island that has taught children for 57 years. The facility has received full accreditation by the New York State Department of Education, and is staffed by teachers who are New York State certified in Early Childhood Education. The facility also offers a summer program that provides recreational yet educational activities for kids in preschool through age 15. Together, the school's owners have six decades of experience in the field. The mission of the institution is to offer comprehensive education to all students, instead of simply providing daycare services.