We want to know whether money invested to pay for the cost of centre-based early years childhood interventions results in a positive or negative financial return in the longer term. Or put more plainly how much does society get back (if anything) for each dollar invested in such schemes.
It is widely assumed, and widely quoted by politicians and policy makers, and ECD activists that early childhood interventions are effective and bring returns in the order of seven dollars saved for every one dollar spent.
The review question was 'What is known about the long-term economic impact of centre-based early childhood interventions?'
We identified studies published in English after 1950 which reported outcomes and financial costs and benefits at least 10 years after the intervention (i.e. when child was a minimum of 15).
The review identified three studies reported in 58 papers. These studies were three well known longitudinal studies of early childhood centre-based interventions Perry High/Scope, the Abecedarian and the Chicago Child-Parent Centers.