The Economics of ECE

In a recent speech made by the head of the United States central banking system, the importance of early childhood education’s effects on the economy came into focus.

Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve stated: “The research shows that effective educations lead to lower rates of poverty, higher lifetime earnings, and greater satisfaction on the job and at home. And specialists in economic development have identified educational attainment as a key source of economic growth and rising incomes in many countries around the world.”


It is notable that Mr. Bernanke recognizes the importance of early childhood education. As an economist, Bernanke is accustomed to looking at the bottom line in any investment. If Bernanke continues to closely link the success of early childhood education with a strong economy, interest and funding will continue to rise.

In this same speech, Brenanke concludes: “Economically speaking, early childhood programs are a good investment, with inflation-adjusted annual rates of return on the funds dedicated to these programs estimated to reach 10 percent or higher. Very few alternative investments can promise that kind of return.”

There is not another business opportunity more developmentally important than the early childhood industry. As we teach the character qualities that create responsible world citizens, and prepare children for school and for life; we are also solidifying a strong economic forecast.

Chairman Ben Bernanke Speech (Children’s Defense Fund National Conference)

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