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Preschool Education Makes a Difference in Brazil
November 1, 2002

"Exclusiveness in a garden is a mistake as great as it is in society." —Alfred Austin


In a paper prepared by Dr. Mary Eming Young of the World BankĀ and Dr. Gaby Fujimoto-Gomez of the Organization of American States, "Early Child Development: Lessons from Non-Formal Programs," the authors make a strong case for public investment in early care and education. One piece of evidence they provide comes from Brazil:

"A recent study in Brazil shows that preschool attendance has positive effects on the future earnings. Preschool attendance indirectly increases children's level of schooling and directly increases their future income as adults. Importantly, the positive effects of preschool are greater for children whose parents have less education (i.e., are illiterate).

"The policy implications of these findings are significant. A country can 'do everything right' in terms of its macroeconomics, governance, regulation, etc., but if it ignores its very young children, its labor force 20 years hence may include many workers who are far less productive than they could have been. Productive individuals who are integrated into the labor market contribute to a country's economic growth and decrease social costs, in having less criminal affinities and lower fertility rates and being better integrated overall into society (than 'nonproductive' individuals). The gain for a society reaches far beyond an individual's achievements in school and the cost savings for the education sector."

To find a copy of the complete paper by Young and Fujimoto-Gomez, in English and in Spanish, go to "Past Presentations" in the World Forum section of www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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