Extensive research has demonstrated that the period from birth through age three is critical to a child’s development. Depending on circumstances, children can begin with a great start, or they can begin to fall behind, and some of the children who fall behind early will never catch up. Early investment can help to ensure that all children get off to a great start. An extensive research base demonstrates that early investment is far more effective at improving outcomes for at-risk children than later remediation. Early investment can provide lifelong benefits to children, including improving their health and increasing their education attainment and future earnings. In addition, research has demonstrated that early investment pays substantial returns to taxpayers through lower expenditures on special education, grade retention, and welfare programs, through increased tax payments, and through a reduction in crime.
This report from Public Sector Consultants and the Citizens Research Council of Michigan identifies places where targeted investments are most likely to produce the best outcomes for Michigan’s children and for the state as a whole.