My sons are about to start part time at child care/pre-school. Though a part of me dies at the thought of dropping them off for the day, the research on early childhood education is very convincing. Recently I was applying for a financial service that requires my child care costs, and the person processing my application commented, “That sounds too high to me.” The comment was like a splinter that got under my skin.
Is early childhood education worth it? We deliberately chose a center that is both cultural diverse and educationally sound. It’s really pre-school, not just keeping your child from burning themselves on the stove. But is it really worth the cost?
Nicholas Kristoff’s recent editorial in the New York Times bolstered my confidence in our choice:
“James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, has shown that investments in early childhood education pay for themselves. Indeed, he argues that they pay a return of 7 percent or more — better than many investments on Wall Street.”
“The question isn’t whether we can afford early childhood education, but whether we can afford not to provide it. We can pay for prisons or we can pay, less, for early childhood education to help build a fairer and more equitable nation.”