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Publication Title:

The Economic Impact of Early Care and Education in South Carolina

Author(s):

Kelly O'Donnell

Date: May 2015

Publication Type: Issue Briefs & Policy Reports

Policy Area: Economic Studies

Page Count: 24

Publication Excerpt:

Ever since women began entering the workforce in significant numbers, the availability of child care has been of vital importance to the US economy. Over the last two decades, however, child care has come to be recognized as more than a support for working parents and the care and education of young children has come to mean more than just child care. We now know that high quality early care and education (ECE) helps pre-pare children, particularly those most at risk for poor educational outcomes, for success in school, careers, and the community. Because it contributes to the preparedness and productivity of tomorrow’s workforce, ECE is crucial to our country’s long term economic health and prosperity. Society’s perception of early care and education has also broadened. It is now understood that truly effective ECE is a continuum of services and supports, adapted to the specific needs of families and communities, that begins with pre- and post-natal home visiting, progresses through screenings to identify health and developmental challenges in their earliest stages, interventions to solve problems early, high quality child care for infants and toddlers and pre-K for three’s and four’s. ECE culminates when a child enters the K-12 system ready to learn and thrive.

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