Congressional Briefing: May 5, 2017

Informing Investments in High-Quality Preschool

Preschool-age children laughing

Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images


Friday, May 5, 2017


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


2044 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

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About the Program

With a new administration in the White House, Congress is expected to reexamine spending on domestic programs. Analyses of the costs and benefits of programs can help provide important information in these debates.

In this briefing, Lynn Karoly will present findings from her research, which compiles the most reliable evidence concerning the short- and long-run effects of high-quality preschool programs for participating children and the associated costs, benefits, and economic returns. Specifically, Lynn will discuss:

  • Does preschool work? What benefits do rigorous evaluations of full-scale preschool programs show, and which of these benefits persist?
  • What return on investment can be expected from preschool programs?
  • What features of preschool programs are critical to realizing these benefits?
  • What challenges to high-quality preschool remain?

This program will use Slido, a website that allows attendees to ask questions before and during the event. To ask Lynn Karoly a question in advance of the briefing, please go to and type in "RANDPreK."

About the Speaker

Lynn Karoly is a RAND senior economist and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Much of her recent child policy research has focused on early care and education (ECE) programs with studies of their use and quality, publicly subsidized programs such as Head Start, professional development for the ECE workforce, ECE quality rating and improvement systems, and the costs and benefits of ECE programs.