Financing Universal Early Care and Education for America’s Children

As early care and education have moved to the top of the policy agenda, governors and members of Congress continue to ask the question: What will it all cost? To help answer that question, researchers at the Center, in collaboration with political scientists and economists at the University of Washington, worked to estimate the costs of all the key elements of a universal early care and education system, including financing and governance, regulation, professional development, and assessment. In addition, the research team compared the impact of alternative financing approaches on the overall costs of care. To move this theoretical work into the practical realm, the project team provided states with economic analyses and technical assistance (partners include Ohio, South Carolina, and Illinois). This work equipped state leaders to estimate financial resources necessary to effectively generate and allocate new resources to early care and education.

Funding Sources: Carnegie Corporation of New York; David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; A.L. Mailman Family Foundation; Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Contact: Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ed.D.