Kids, a Winning Investment

To the Editor:

Re “Good News, Seriously, About Politics,” by David Leonhardt (column, June 4):

In this politically divisive time, good news in the policy arena is often overshadowed by the latest scandal, outrage or ill-timed tweet. Nonetheless, I am encouraged by progress happening across the country for kids, including in Chicago, where the city plans to give all children access to preschool.

More states and municipalities are recognizing the benefits of early education and child care and are devoting more resources to increasing access and improving quality.

As mentioned in Mr. Leonhardt’s column, experts agree that high-quality early childhood education is not only essential in ensuring a bright future for kids and families, especially those living in poverty, but it also boosts our economy.

A report from the Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman shows that the rate of return on investments in early childhood education can be 13 percent per year, because of improved outcomes in education, health, economic productivity and reduced crime.

I urge policymakers across the country to continue investing in quality early childhood education because although kids are approximately a quarter of our population today, they are 100 percent of our future.


The writer is president of Save the Children Action Network.