The deficiencies that many children experience from birth to school age--in health care, nutrition, emotional support, and intellectual stimulation, for example--play a major role in academic achievement gaps that persist for years, as well as in behavior and other problems. There are many intervention programs designed to strengthen families, provide disadvantaged children with the critical elements of healthy development, and prevent adverse experiences that can have lasting negative effects.
In a climate of economic uncertainty and tight budgets, hard evidence not only that such interventions provide lasting benefits for children, their families, and society, but also that the benefits translate into savings that outweigh the costs is an extremely important asset in policy discussions. Convincing analysis of benefits and costs would provide a guide to the best ways to spend scarce resources for early childhood programs.
Benefit-Cost Analysis for Early Childhood Interventions summarizes a workshop that was held to explore ways to strengthen benefit-cost analysis so it can be used to support effective policy decisions. This book describes the information and analysis that were presented at the workshop and the discussions that ensued.