Invest in Early Childhood Development: Reduce Deficits, Strengthen Louisiana's Economy
Those seeking to reduce deficits and strengthen the economy should make significant investments in early childhood education. Professor Heckman’s ground-breaking work with a consortium of economists, psychologists, statisticians and neuroscientists shows that early childhood development directly influences economic, health and social outcomes for individuals and society. Adverse early environments create deficits in skills and abilities that drive down productivity and increase social costs undefined thereby adding to financial deficits borne by the public.
Early childhood development drives success in school and life. A critical time to shape productivity is from birth to age five, when the brain develops rapidly to build the foundation of cognitive and character skills necessary for success in school, health, career and life. Early childhood education fosters cognitive skills along with attentiveness, motivation, self-control and sociability undefined the character skills that turn knowledge into know-how and people into productive citizens.
Investing in early childhood education for at-risk children is an effective strategy for reducing social costs. Every child needs effective early childhood supports undefined and at-risk children from disadvantaged environments are least likely to get them. They come from families who lack the education, social and economic resources to provide the early developmental stimulation that is so helpful for success in school, college, career and life. Poor health, dropout rates, poverty and crime undefined Louisiana can address these problems and substantially reduce their costs to taxpayers by investing in developmental opportunities for at-risk children.
Read James J. Heckman's full article here.