New Report on Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs

November 14, 2017

Grey hands hold a green small plant.

A new report from the RAND Corporation examines evaluations of early childhood programs and synthesizes their results to better understand program outcomes, costs, and benefits. The 115 programs reviewed include a range of approaches, including early care and education, home visiting, parent education, government transfers, and those that use a combination of approaches.

Key findings from the report:

  • Most included programs—102 of 115—have demonstrable impacts on at least one child outcome. Almost one in three outcomes were improved.
  • Other meta-analyses of early intervention programs found effect sizes on child outcomes in the range of 0.1 to 0.4 for the cognitive achievement or the behavior and emotion domains.
  • The authors estimated effect sizes for three health outcomes ranging from 0 to 0.15.
  • Estimated benefit–cost ratios for the 19 programs with formal benefit–cost analyses are typically in the range of $2 to $4 for every dollar invested, when viewed from the societal perspective.

Access the full report, Investing Early: Taking Stock of Outcomes and Economic Returns from Early Childhood Programs.

Learn more about CASJE's work in Jewish Early Childhood Education.

shared by CASJE Board Member Ellen Goldring