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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

The Economic Value of Early Childhood Education

Research shows that we have invested in the wrong capital; we need to invest in human capital. Human capital is education. The most effective education begins before birth, but formal education only starts at age five. When students begin their education at age five, they have lost crucial years of their development: “Gaps in capabilities that play important roles in determining diverse adult outcomes originate before formal schooling begins and persist through childhood and into adulthood… schooling after the 2nd grade plays only a minor role in creating or reducing gaps” (Heckman, 2011, p. 34). Therefore, students who start their educational development at age five, when they are mandated by all the states, have started their formal education career at a disadvantage. No education or poor education during the early childhood years results in disadvantaged students. These students end up creating the achievement gap that we currently see in schools. Education programs need to provide children and families with the opportunities to access education during the critical development period of a child’s life, in order to reverse the achievement gap. Early Childhood Education programs are the right choice for the children and the economy. Early educated students are healthier individuals with developed cognitive, personality, and achievement skills. The American economic productivity is bound to increase with the economic investment of early childhood education programs across the nation.

Presenter: Margaret Henry (Buffalo State College) --
Topic: Education II- Panel
Location: 215 Hartwell
Time: 11 am (Session II)