Skip to main content


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. 

See more about the Heckman Equation here

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

Statistics Around Early Childhood 

KIDS COUNT Data Center

Diversity Data Kids

Kane Health Counts

Illinois Early Childhood Asset Map

Innovation Zone Data


If you have specific data needs, email We can help!