Cost-Effective Investments in Children

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The Brookings Institution

This report identifies four areas of investment in children and uses cost-benefit ratios to argue for greater federal funding for children’s programs. For each area, the report provides evidence regarding program impact and cost effectiveness, along with a specific proposal and budget estimate.

From a total investment package of $25 billion for 2008, most of the money ($18 billion) would go toward early childhood education for 3- and 4-year-olds, which Brookings says has the strongest evidence of economic return on investment. The other investment areas are elementary and secondary education, improving teacher quality, and reducing teenage pregnancy through youth development programs. Free. 40 pages. (202) 797-6000, http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/200701isaacs.pdf.