01 July 2019

A smart investment for a smarter Australia: Economic analysis of universal early childhood education in the year before school in Australia

This report considers the benefits of early childhood education for children, their parents or carers, governments and employers against the costs of providing that early childhood education. The analysis found that for every dollar invested now, Australia receives two dollars back over a child’s life, which is a higher return than from many infrastructure projects. Investing in early childhood education leads to stronger academic performance throughout schooling and an increased likelihood of school completion and undertaking further education. Importantly, both school completion and participation  in further education are key predictors of higher future incomes and better wellbeing. Further, the research found that early childhood education is a sound productivity investment for government.