You have analyzed and evaluated several resources this week that present reasons why increased funding of development and learning in the early years seems to substantially contribute to a nation’s well-being. The pervasive line of reasoning, presented mainly by economists, revolves around the idea that investment in the early years will provide concrete payback in the future. Some of the benefits of quality early child care and education which are already established through research include individuals’ increased likelihood to become lifelong learners, a reduction in the use of welfare systems, and a lowering of juvenile crime rates. The main payback will be a better-prepared, better-trained workforce that will help to secure the economic future of the nation. The economists who write and speak passionately about the value of investing in early child care and education present these intended consequences with great clarity.
Yet, as you also know, besides intended consequences, every action or policy inevitably has unintended consequences. The unintended consequences of the economic argument for investing in early childhood form the focus of the second Discussion this week. In preparation, review the resources for this week that represent economists’ ideas about the importance of investing in early childhood care and education, and consider these questions:
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