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SEED report says that early education boosts future levels of employment

By Rachel Lawler
Spending money on early education can help the government reduce costs later on with reduced levels of truancy, school exclusion, crime, smoking and depression, according to a new report.
The value for money of early education, part of the the DfE’s Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), says that improvements in child development at ages three and four is linked to reduced costs later in life. The report also suggests that investment in the early years is also linked to higher qualifications and higher lifetime earnings, generating additional monetary benefits for the government.
The report estimated the monetary value of early education based on existing literature and new analysis of the national pupil database and compared this with the average cost of delivering early education from an earlier report. Part-time early education was found to offer better value-for-money over full-time early education, due to the considerably higher cost of longer hours.
Chief executive of the Alliance Neil Leitch said: “For early years policy to have the long-term positive impact that this report demonstrates it can, government must focus on improving and maintaining the quality of early education in this country.”
Neil added: “Policymakers must start looking at the bigger picture. Early years provision that simply provides somewhere for children to be while their parents are at work but doesn’t adequately support early learning and development is a waste of resources. Providers are working hard to deliver the quality early care and education needed to make a real difference in children’s lives – it’s time for the government to do its part.”