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Schloss Leopoldskron
The Promise of Data: Will this Bring a Revolution in Health Care? 
Early Childhood Development & Education
15 Apr - 18 Apr, 2015
 Youth, Economics and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict

Additional Session Support:
Catherine Millett (Resource Specialist) - Senior Research Scientist, ETS Policy Evaluation & Research Center, United States
Michael Nettles (Resource Specialist) - Senior Vice President, Policy Evaluation & Research Center, ETS, United States

Abstract:
In early childhood, society places high value on parental responsibility and rarely considers this time of development a mainstream economic and budgetary matter. This is counterintuitive. For decades, Nobel prizewinner James Heckman and others have made the economic case for investments in Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) as a critical component for national prosperity. Despite evidence demonstrating lasting benefits of supporting young children, research has not translated into sustained financial commitments and practice. ECDE lies at the nexus of social, health and education policy, but decision makers lack holistic baselines to link family support, economic productivity and social justice from the start of life. 21st century societies - with aging populations, reduced birthrates, mobile workforces and interconnected economic and environmental challenges - require more active, collaborative and productive participation from every citizen. As modern neuroscience reinforces the importance of human brain development between 0-5 years, it makes sense to invest in our youngest citizens to help them become future net contributors to society. Such investments are estimated to generate an 18 percent annual rate of return due to cost-savings in remedial education and social services and an increased tax base. Lack of quality ECDE reflects and contributes to rising inequality. Those who most need a fair start - the poor, immigrants and racial/ethnic minorities - are often at the periphery of social and political power and can seldom afford or garner sufficient support for quality programs. Under-investing in ECDE also has a disproportionate effect on women, as mothers, unpaid caregivers and underpaid early-childhood educators. Moreover, neglecting ECDE has costly symptoms that only appear years later, making them easy to ignore in short-term policymaking. Families cannot bridge this gap on their own, especially as more mothers re-enter the workforce out of necessity or choice. In collaboration with Educational Testing Service, Salzburg Global Seminar is implementing a a multi-year intervention to catalyze and leverage the early childhood research and policy agenda at domestic and international levels, particularly for disadvantaged populations.


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