Informing Investments in High-Quality Preschool

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 congressional briefing, RAND senior economist, Lynn Karoly, presents 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, Karoly discusses:

  • 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?