Why invest in Early Childhood?
University of Chicago professor, James Heckman, the Heckman Equation helps us understand the need to invest in quality early learning for children in their first years of life:
Invest + Develop + Sustain = Gain
"Investing" in resources for disadvantaged families which nurtures the "development" of cognitive and social skills, "sustained" through education into adulthood leads to a "gain" for the overall economy of a productive and valuable workforce.
The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University provides astounding evidence of the importance of investing in early childhood through five numbers to remember:
700 new neural connections are formed in the first few years of life.
18 months is the age at which disparities in vocabulary begin to appear.
90 to 100% chance of developmental delays when children experience 6 or more risk factors.
3:1 odds of adult heart disease after 7-8 adverse childhood experiences.
$13 returns for every dollar invested in early childhood.
Elgin Community Data Birth to Five Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map
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