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Unpacking 13 Percent ROI on Early Investments

IMG 1884 resizedInvestments in early childhood that focus on children age 0-5 can yield a 13 percent return. Talking with Marina Merrill, Children's Institute's senior research and policy advisor, we examine the results of a recent paper from James Heckman called The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program. Heckman, professor of economics at the University of Chicago and Nobel Prize winner, looks at two programs in North Carolina that began in the 1970s and details positive outcomes in education, health, social behaviors, and employment.  

Segment Highlights

0:38 The importance of starting at birth

1:00 Programs deliver a 13 percent return

1:23 Longitudinal analysis reveals broad impacts of 0-5 investments  

2:06 Short-term studies have a different purpose compared to ROI studies

3:03 Learning from Tennessee about K-3 outcomes with a focus on quality improvement

4:11 Early education works and can produce long-term gains

4:54 Hard to find a better return on investment compared to any other social program

5:32 Cost per child compared to social impacts

6:05 Oregon's cost for preschool

6:23 Oregon spends a lot per child, has limited access to programs, and has high program quality

7:50 Stay tuned for more research analysis from Children's Institute





Yoncalla Strives for Long-Term Change

In the fourth installment of the Early Link Podcast, and the last one for 2016, I visited Yoncalla in Douglas County to learn more about the community, our Early Works initiative, and Yoncalla Elementary's new preschool funded by Oregon's Preschool Promise program. 

I spoke with teachers Megan Barber and Cassie Reigard, as well as parents Crystal Sampson and Kevin Hoyt, all of whom have deep ties to the Yoncalla community. 

Listen and enjoy!

Read more: Yoncalla Strives for Long-Term Change

Early Learning at OMSI

For this segment of the Early Link Podcast, I brought my kids to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) to explore the exhibits and learn more about the science museum's involvement in early learning. We spent lots of time in the Science Playground learning about animals, playing in sand, splashing in water fountains and whirl pools, and building dams. We also visited Innovation Station and the Chemistry Lab, and after several hours felt like we had just scratched the surface of what the museum had to offer. 

During the visit, I spoke with Annie Douglass, the museum's early childhood education manager about how play can stimulate learning about the science process, the Living Laboratory program that teaches adults about cognitive science and early learning, and the role museums are playing in becoming access points for early education. 

Enjoy the sounds of OMSI with some very young special guests!

Read more: Early Learning at OMSI

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