Segments in this Video

Costs and Benefits of Early Child Education (02:56)


By age six, 95% of the brain is developed. Supported by scientific research, economists are looking at investing in early childhood education to build lifelong success. They have found that Americans are spending too little on quality childcare and preschool.

Perry Preschool (03:12)

A 1962 Michigan study provided a cognitively rich preschool program focusing on math, literacy, and play based learning. Participants experienced greater academic and life success than a control group over 40 years. Economists found the benefits far outweighed the costs.

Preventative Approach to Poverty (04:05)

Quebec suffered a recession twenty years ago. Psychologists Camil Bouchard and Lyse Brunet used U.S. research findings from the Abecedarian Project and Parent Child Program, which showed economic benefits of quality early education, to recommend investing in the first five years.

"We are Crazy about Our Kids" (02:17)

Bouchard and Brunet's report recommending the Quebec government invest in early child education galvanized public support. In 1997, Quebec implemented low cost, high quality child development centers for all families.

Benefits of Quebec's Family Policies (04:37)

Hear how the CPE system helps a Montreal family improve their income and wellbeing. More mothers have been able to enter the workforce, increasing income tax revenue and lowering child poverty. Women can take 40 weeks paid maternity leave.

American Resistance to Family Policy (02:54)

China is also applying U.S. research findings to invest in early education for poverty reduction. In 1971, Congress passed a high quality childcare bill that was vetoed by Nixon. Childcare remains hard to find, mediocre in quality, and expensive.

U.S. Economic Development (02:19)

Families shoulder childcare costs while other sectors receive subsidies. Cities and states compete for jobs by providing corporate tax breaks—costing tax payers enough to fund 5,000 child development centers for a decade. The competitive labor force is dwindling.

Utah Early Child Support (03:48)

State senator Aaron Osmond found special education funding outpaced normal education funding. Salt Lake City's Granite District invested in early education in 2006. Many students are disadvantaged but entered elementary school without needing special education and are thriving academically.

Lobbying for Early Education (02:07)

Utah saved over $1.4 million on special education funding over four years. Osmond is pushing bills to start pilot preschools and keep them sustainable by allocating budget for reinvestment. The achievement gap between high and low income students is narrowing.

Improving Child Welfare (01:13)

In addition to quality early education, children need good neighborhoods, food, and communities. The U.S. is paying for failure, rather than investing in success.

Credits: Are We Crazy about Our Kids? (02:13)

Credits: Are We Crazy about Our Kids?

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Are We Crazy about Our Kids?

Part of the Series : The Raising of America
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Economists are studying the costs and benefits of high-quality early care and preschool. And they’re worried—not because we’re spending too much, but because we’re investing too little where it matters most. Are We Crazy about Our Kids? brings to life the classic studies of Perry Preschool, Abcedarian, and other initiatives conducted by Nobel Laureate James Heckman, former Federal Reserve economist Arthur Rolnick, and others demonstrating how high-quality early care and preschool yield a stronger economy, a safer and healthier society, more responsible citizenry—and even pay for themselves many times over.

Length: 33 minutes

Item#: BVL165947

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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