From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
According to a report from the nonprofit Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s proposed $120 million increase for pre-K programs stands to boost high-school graduation rates, reduce incarcerations, and save Pennsylvania taxpayers more than $350 million. The report details how early-learning programs reduce the disadvantages experienced by children growing up in poverty.
For example, by the time at-risk children get to kindergarten, many are already behind in vocabulary development, pre-literacy skills, and pre-math skills — and can have problems with behavior and impulse control, which make it hard for them to get along with other children and teachers. In many cases, early-learning programs eliminate the need for costly interventions down the road, such as special education and other services to help children who are not able to recover from the developmental gap.
Efforts across the country — such as universal preschool programs in New York City and Pay for Success in Chicago and Utah (in which investors pay for a program and get reimbursed by the government if the program demonstrates measurable outcomes) — recognize the long-term value of implementing high-quality early interventions.