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Events > 2011 Events > Economic Forum

Early Education Economic Forum

Does Preschool Education Really Pay? When do the Payoffs Start and How Big is the Return?
June 22, 2011

You've heard the claims from the famous HighScope Perry Preschool and Abecedarian studies about the tremendous payoffs of early education for disadvantaged U.S. families, but did you know that Canadian researchers are also amassing unique results documenting the cost-benefits of preschool here?

By age 4, 40% of Quebec youngsters are attending a full-time, publicly-supported learning and care program. Pundits point to the high cost, but new work by economist Dr. Pierre Fortin of the University of Québec at Montréal reveals the benefits begin immediately and the payoffs are more far-reaching than speculated. Award-winning economist Robert Fairholm of the Centre for Spatial Economics shows that almost all Canadian governments make the wrong decision when allocating their economic stimulus dollars. At a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Lars Osberg, McCulloch Professor of Economics at Dalhousie University, these researchers presented their findings and provided some new ways of thinking and talking about the public's interest in early childhood.

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