June 2017

The Economic Benefits of High-Quality Early Care

Ray Noonan, Nicole Updegrove, and Daniel Long, Ph.D.

All children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. At the same time, parents should be able to go to work with the comfort that their children are safe, nurtured, and learning. For many families, child care is a crucial component of this vision. 

Early care and education programs have proven to be the most effective policies for improving the lifelong outcomes for children. Attending high-quality early care programs leads to higher educational achievement in later years while reducing expensive social ills, like chronic health problems or crime. These improved outcomes translate to a direct positive impact on the economy as a whole in the form of increased wages and productivity, and lower spending on social services. 

Our analysis concludes that:

  • Providing enough high-quality child care to meet Connecticut’s needs would generate $13.4 billion in long-term benefits to the state.

  • Keeping Care 4 Kids closed will cost Connecticut’s economy $82 million in long-term benefits for the state.

  • Taking steps to improve program quality would also have a considerable economic impact, with a $2.35 billion positive impact for the state economy

This research brief is the first in a two-part series exploring the current state of early care and education in Connecticut. 

We would like to thank the Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, a project of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy for supporting this research.

Issue Areas:
Early Care, Education