Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development
Early childhood programs, if designed correctly, pay big economic dividends down the road because they increase the skills of their participants. And since many of those participants will remain in the same state or local area as adults, the local economy benefits: more persons with better skills attract business, which provides more and better jobs for the local economy. Bartik measures ratios of local economic development benefits to costs for both early childhood education and business incentives. He shows that early childhood programs and the best-designed business incentives can provide local benefits that significantly exceed costs. Given this, states and municipalities would do well to adopt economic development strategies that balance high-quality business incentives with early childhood programs.
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