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No finer investment than early childhood education

Chronicle Herald, May 7, 2018

Excerpt: "Indeed, investments in greater access to early childhood education (ECE) have remarkably powerful and far-reaching benefits for society, a new study by the Conference Board of Canada (Ready for Life: A Socio-Economic Analysis of Early Childhood Education) shows.

Providing quality pre-school education, the study finds, raises family incomes and living standards, boosts economic growth and reduces inequality — not only in the future, but in the present as well.

In the short run, access to ECE allows more women with small children to participate in the labour force, a key factor in raising family incomes and in supporting higher economic growth.

In the longer term, ECE improves educational and earnings outcomes for the children — particularly disadvantaged children — and leads to a higher-skilled and more productive workforce that is less vulnerable to the disruptions posed by technology.

Taking all these factors into account, the Conference Board estimates a long-term return of $2 to $6 for every dollar spent to bring ECE enrolment of our children (58 per cent for Canada and 46 per cent for this region) up to the 70 per cent average for the OECD, an organization of developed countries."

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