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High Quality Early Education: Dollars and Sense

I love what I do and I will talk to anyone (who will listen to me) about my job and about the beautiful children I educate! There is one comment that seems to pop up quite regularly when discussing our children’s education and that is, “I’m not too concerned which school my child is at for Kindy and Early Primary, it’s more the High School years that I worry about.” I also worry about the High School years because I don’t want my children mixing with the wrong crowd. I don’t want them staying out till all hours and I don’t want them drinking and doing drugs because their friends do! As far as their education is concerned, the Early Years are very IMPORTANT! When you build a house, you start with the foundations. If your foundations aren’t solid then your house could fall down. It’s the same thing with education. When your child starts school, over and above learning about making friends, self-control and sharing they are also introduced to subjects like Maths, Science, English, etc. if they aren’t motivated to explore and to learn then where will they get the passion for it later on in life? If they have a knack for Maths and a teacher in the Early Years  picks up on that, they can inspire your child to explore all aspects of Maths. They can create an environment that will encourage your child to experiment with Maths.

What do you think will happen if your child goes to school and is merely a number in the class? What happens if the school doesn’t have enough passion, equipment or resources to inspire your child? Does an artist feel inspired drawing on a scrap piece of paper rather than beautifully presented sheets using different drawing materials? These are questions you need to consider when it comes to your child’s Early Education.

I received an e-mail from Not Just Cute regarding investing in your child’s Early Education. After reading it I felt it had to be posted to my Blog because it ties up with what I was just writing about. Hope you enjoy this very interesting read….


Let me start off by making one thing clear.  Young children deserve a high quality early education because it is our responsibility as adults to care for them and give them what they need.  It’s a matter of moral responsibility. Children need quality experiences to be whole and healthy and to meet the outer limits of their grand potentials, both as children and as adults.  That said, there have been a series of interesting articles recently, coming from unlikely sources.  It’s not NAEYC or Zero to Three issuing these papers, it’s economists and business leaders.

These writers are getting attention for pointing out the overall return on investments into early education.  It’s all broken down by dollars and economic growth.  That may not be my first motivator, but I figure you have to find whatever common ground will get people involved in advocating for children.  If someone needs to see dollar signs and numbers to help them realize that the early years are not just cute, there are definitely dollar signs and numbers to be found.

In general, the research points out that, *gasp* children who receive high quality early education are more likely to be productive members of society over a lifetime.  One study found the investment to be worth more than 10-fold over a lifetime!  For every dollar spent in the early years, there’s a $10 return.  This rate of return appears to steadily decline over a person’s lifetime.  So, money put into high school programs have a much smaller rate of return.  It all goes back to the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Additionally, I found it interesting that many statements in the articles point to the fact that the benefits of preschool are not just academic.  In fact, many of the cognitive benefits even out over time.  As found in the Perry Preschool Experiment and the report from the Society for Human Resource Management (links below), the benefits of preschool are largely about social skills: team building, self-control, and motivation.

I found these articles extremely interesting (particularly the one about the $320,ooo kindergarten teacher — you just might find me back at the nearest elementary school when that one comes to fruition).  If you’re looking for some weekend reading, check these out!  Then think about what you can do to advocate for children— whether that’s in your own home, your own school, your community, or the world.

“Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Future…Means Meeting the Developmental Needs of Young Children Today” – Society for Human Resource Management

“The Case for $320,000 Kindergarten Teachers” –  The New York Times

“How Preschool Changes the Brain” – Wired


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