2Center or American Progress | Increasing the Eectiveness and Efciency o Existing Public Investments in Early Childhood Education
Te Ounce o Prevenion Fund—a public-privae parnership ha invess inhe healhy developmen o a-risk inans, oddlers, and preschoolers and heiramilies—summarizes a broad eld o research showing ha, wihou high-qualiy early childhood inervenion, an a-risk child is:
25 percen more likely o drop ou o school
40 percen more likely o become a een paren
50 percen more likely o be placed in special educaion
60 percen more likely o never atend college
70 percen more likely o be arresed or a violen crime
Heckman’s research nds, however, ha a-risk children who paricipae in inen-sive pre-educaion pilo programs do beter in school, are more likely o graduaerom high school and atend college, and are ulimaely more likely o ransiion osuccessul adul lives.
Wihou quesion, he Unied Saes aces many urgen educaional and economicchallenges. Chie among hem is he need o creae a high-qualiy early learningsysem ha reaches ar more children han he curren sysem permis.In his repor we describe how conficing expecaions, misaligned sysemrequiremens, and programmaic rewalls on he ederal level creae ormidable barriers o he operaion o a well-coordinaed sysem o high-qualiy early child-hood educaion or children rom birh o 5 years old. Tis lack o coordinaionmeans ha our ederal invesmens are neiher operaing as ecienly nor aseecively as possible. As a resul we are missing he opporuniy o increase henumber o young children who ener kindergaren wih he skills, knowledge, anddisposiions necessary or school and lielong success.Currenly, here are our ederal unding sreams—Head Sar, he Child CareDevelopmen Block Gran, he Elemenary and Secondary Educaion Ac, andhe Individuals wih Disabiliies Educaion Ac—invesing approximaely $13 billion annually in early childhood programs ocused on boosing early learningoucomes. Mos o he resources rom hese unding sreams, which we describelaer in his repor, are argeed o a-risk children. Bu despie laudable inenions,challenges naurally arise when muliple ederal agencies are working relaively independenly o one anoher in pursui o a common goal.
Without question,the United Statesfaces many urgenteducationaland economicchallenges. Chief among them is theneed to create ahigh-quality earlylearning systemthat reaches farmore children thanthe current systempermits.