4 things you should know about pre-K and the economy

From our latest publication, The Business Case for Pre-K:

The importance of pre-K rises as the number of children living in poverty goes up. In Arkansas that is 29 percent of our children. Nationally it’s 23 percent. Pre-K enables those low-income children, who make up nearly a third of our future workforce, to start school on grade level with their peers.

It’s good for the workforce of tomorrow. Pre-K teaches kids soft skills – like character, communication, and social skills – that will make them more successful in school and at their future jobs. These are skills employers demand, so investing in pre-K meets these critical workforce needs.

It’s good for the workforce right now. Pre-K programs, both public and private, provide employment opportunities in Arkansas towns. Quality pre-K enables parents to go to work by giving them a safe place to take their kids. In addition to serving as employers, these programs contribute to the local economy by purchasing goods and services from other businesses. The amount of research supporting these claims is considerable.

It reduces government costs. Long-term studies show pre-K not only reduces crime, but cuts costs of incarceration, police protection, and courts. Pre-K leads to higher graduation rates. That leads to increases in income tax revenue and reduces the chances these children will end up in social programs such as welfare or SNAP.