ReadyNation


ReadyNation Commissioned Research

Since 2006 ReadyNation (still named the Partnership for America's Economic Success) has commissioned two dozen research papers detailing both the economic benefits of early childhood investment, as well as ways of financing these programs. This work has validated the strong return on investment and economic value of quality early childhood programs. 

Economic Benefits of Early Childhood Programs

One of ReadyNation's main goals has been to commission and assemble the strongest possible body of evidence of the societal benefits of a wide range of supports for young children. This research—available as full studies, policy briefs, and/or presentations—helps arm business and other advocates with the tools they need to persuade state and local policy makers to make these investments.

View research briefs and reports on the Economic Benefits of Childhood Programs

Capitalizing on an Advantage: New Jersey's business case for early childhood investements

New Jersey is the home to the Abbott Preschool Program, a well-reknowned, high-quality program that results in greater kindergarten readiness, reduced achievement gaps, and lower enrollment in special education. Unfortunately, many New Jersey children lack access to a high-quality program which, in turn, leaves them behind. Our brief details the effect of these programs, and how business leaders can work to provide increased access to these progarms.

Read this brief here.


Closing the Job Skills Gap with New York Workers

In six years New York State will face a deficit of 350,000 workers for mid-level skill jobs—those requiring more than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. But a pipeline of skilled workers will be hard to create when 23 percent of New York high school students fail to graduate on time, and only 35 percent of our public school students graduate “college- and career-ready.” To reverse these skills gaps, members of the business leader organization we have released a report urging a three-point plan to build a qualified workforce in New York. Click here to view the report.

Click here to listen to the teleconference news briefing.


Mentors for High-Risk Mothers

This brief provides the economic evidence showing that high-quality programs for new and expectant mothers demonstrate the ability to reduce future costs by improving life outcomes for both mothers' and their children's lives. Click here to view this brief.


Strengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Pre-Kindergarten

This report, "Strengthening Pennsylvania Businesses through Investments in Pre-Kindergarten," examines the economic benefits of pre-k investments in eight regions across the commonwealth and concludes  that few investments make as much sense for Pennsylvania businesses’ balance sheets as do investments in high-quality early education. Click here to view the report and regional briefs.


The Vital Link: Early Childhood Investment is the First Step to High School Graduation

William Carpluk

This research brief powerfully illustrates the correlation between access to early education and future educational success, and includes new research from several early childhood programs that clearly demonstrate their success in improving educational outcomes. Click here to view this brief. To view the version with endnotes please click here


Championing Success: Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investment

In partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, we have released the findings from a new survey that examined business support of early childhood policies in the U.S. The report, titled "Championing Success: Business Organizations for Early Childhood Investments", found that since 2007 at least one chamber of commerce or business roundtable in 49 states has publicly supported early childhood policy or program initiatives. Read the full report here, or view the executive summary.


Building a Stronger Commonwealth: The Business Case for Investing in Pennsylvania’s Youngest Learners

A revised version of a previous state-centered research brief, "Building a Stronger Commonwealth: The Business Case for Investing in Pennsylvania’s Youngest Learners" details the workforce skills gap issues facing Pennsylvania, and highlights how early childhood programs  can alleviate those problems. Click here to view the brief without endnotes, or click here to view the brief with endnotes.


Tomorrow's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Workforce Starts with Early Education

This brief discusses why business should support STEM in the early years, highlights what businesses are currently doing to support early STEM, and provides examples of what young children can learn before kindergarten. Click here to see all of the materials associated with this brief.


Savings Now, Savings Later: Smart Early Childhood Programs Pay Off Right Away and for the Long Term

While often times the returns to early childhood programs are defined in the long-term, there are numerous programs that provide substantial short-term payoffs. This brief highlights those programs, and some of which show returns in less than a year. Click here to read the brief. To view the version with endnotes, please click here.


Attracting, Developing and Maintaining Human Capital: A New Model for Economic Development

Dr. Timothy Bartik

This brief describes the benefits investments in early childhood programs have on a local economy, particularly when it comes to reduced special education needs, lower crime rates and increased property value. It provides highlights from a book by Dr. Timothy Bartik, "Investing in Kids: Programs and Local Economic Development." Click here to view the research brief.


Mobilizing Business Champions for Children - A Guide for Advocates

Sara Watson

This report gives a detailed analysis of promising practices when working to engage business leaders in the field of early childhood development. It provides information on both the recruitment and retention of these leaders, as well as a description of several types of organizational models. Read the report here.


The Youth Human Capital Sector of the U.S. Economy: How Large Is It?

Robert H. Dugger

This new study by Robert Dugger provides an estimate of the size of the youth human capital sector of the U.S. economy—which includes all people and businesses involved in raising, caring for and educating children from conception to age-18. Read this study here.


A Simulation of Affordability and Effectiveness of Childhood Obesity Interventions

Sai Ma and Kevin Frick

This study, based on findings from underlying research funded by the Partnership, attempts to determine at what point a targeted intervention to fight childhood obesity would result in positive economic returns. Click here to view the abstract or purchase the full report.


Paying Later: The High Costs of Failing to Invest in Young Children

Elaine Weiss, Mark Cohen, Alex Piquero and Wesley Jennings

States face a deepening budget crisis, tempting many policy makers to cut funding from many early childhood programs. However, research shows proven investments in young children can curb costly social issues such as child abuse and neglect, long-term criminal activity and high school dropouts. To learn more, view the policy brief.


The Economic Value of the U.S. Early Childhood Sector

Richard Brandon and Elaine Weiss

While we continue to learn the vital role early childhood development plays in developing our economy and workforce, little information has been made available as to the total U.S. spending on the early childhood sector. The Partnership has provided an in-depth analysis of this sector of our economy, showing that spending in it is great than the agriculture and utilities sector, and almost as much as transportation. However, with the importance of early childhood, is it enough? Click here to view the research brief, or view the full report here.


The Costs of Disinvestment

The long-term benefits of programs to support children in their early years are well known, but today’s budgetary realities require more to persuade policy makers to make those investments. This brief sets out the strongest immediate and short-term economic benefits and makes the case for setting the stage now for a strong future workforce and economy. View the policy brief.


Lead - Costs of Problem, Benefits of Prevention/Monitoring

Elise Gould

While childhood lead poisoning is largely addressed, this research finds that removing the risk for a small, remaining minority would produce societal benefits many times the costs. View the policy brief, or view the full report.


Adverse Birth Outcomes - Costs of Problem, Benefits of Prevention/Monitoring

Angie Fertig and Phaedra Corso

High rates of poor birth outcomes - low birthweight and premature births - among American women threaten those babies' futures and represent major public costs, both short- and long-term. View the policy brief.


Asthma - Costs of Problem, Benefits of Prevention/Monitoring

Angie Fertig and Phaedra Corso

While the health impacts of asthma have long been apparent, this report shows that the bulk of costs come in the form of long-term losses in workforce productivity. View the policy brief, or view the full report.


Calculating Long-term Economic Impacts of Early Childhood Programs

Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Jane Waldfogel and Katherine Magnuson

Given the expense, challenges and thus rarity of longitudinal studies of early childhood programs, this paper's innovative means of connecting shorter-term results with known teen and adult outcomes can provide useful longer-term estimates of benefits for a range of programs. View the executive summary, or view the full report.


Child Health: Birth Outcomes, Injury, Asthma, Mental Health

Janet Currie, Mark Stabile, Phongsack Manivong, and Leslie L. Roos

A set of common early childhood health problems - poor birth outcomes, asthma, accidental injuries and mental health issues - are found to have long-term impacts on children's academic attainment and economic well-being. View the executive summary, or view the full report.


Quality Parenting Programs are an Economic Investment

Sharon McGroder and Allison Hyra

Parenting skills, central to nurturing young children and preparing them for school and life, can be taught through effective programs, some of which even provide net societal economic benefits. View the full report.


The Hidden Costs of the Housing Crisis: The Impact on Young Children

Joydeep Roy

The housing crisis of recent has brought to the public's and media's attention long-standing challenges for moderate- and low-income families. Among them, however, the most vulnerable — young children — pay the highest price. View the policy brief, or view the full report.


Societal Impact of Early Childhood Nutrition and Food Insecurity

James Weill and Elizabeth March

Sufficient, nutritious food plays a critical role in young children's physical and brain development. When they lack nourishing meals, the consequences can be damaging, not only to them, but to society. View the policy brief, or view the full report.


Societal Benefits of Alleviating Early Childhood Poverty and Providing Income Supports

Greg Duncan, Ariel Kalil and Kathleen Ziol-Guest

Poverty is the single greatest risk factor for babies and young children, incurring long-term damage; this study shows that raising the incomes of poor families in children's earliest years could be a smart public policy. View the policy brief, or view the full report.


Economic Development Benefits of Early Childhood Investments

Timothy Bartik

Evidence-based pre-k and home visiting programs for young children can provide economic development benefits as large as those of the tax breaks and job trainings that states and local communities have traditionally employed. From a national perspective, investments in children are far superior. View the policy brief or view the full report.


Fiscal Effects of Early Childhood Investments

William Dickens

Not only do effective programs for young children reduce problems in school and criminal activity, they produce major budgetary boosts at the federal level, with long-term gains that far exceed the initial investment. View the policy brief or view the full report.


Health: Accidental Injury, Tobacco Exposure, Mental Health and Obesity

Bernie Guyer, et al.

Four common early childhood health problems - injuries, tobacco exposure, mental health problems and obesity - carry both immediate medical costs and longer-term consequences for society as a whole. View the research brief, or view the full report.


Impacts of Early Childhood Brain Development, Interventions, etc

James Heckman

Nobel Laureate in Economics James Heckman has researched and written extensively on the societal imperative of investing in children in their early years. His new website, the Heckman Equation, provides an array of resources around this message, including research findings, presentations and other advocacy tools.


Financing Early Childhood Programs

In today's difficult economic climate, even solid evidence of the economic benefits of early childhood benefits may not be sufficient to move policy. This research—available as full reports and/or policy briefs—provides a range of suggestions for creative ways to engage the private sector and to collaborate on funding for effective conception-to-kindergarten programs and policies.

View research briefs and reports on Financing Early Childhood Programs

Innovative Financing Strategies

Betsy Zeidman

Programs to support young children and their families are rarely funded to their full potential or their client's needs, partly for lack of creative ways to do so. This ideas paper assesses a variety of mechanisms, their advantages and challenges, examples of their prior use an dbest scenarios for implementation. View the full report or see the Partnership Invest in Kids meeting in which it was discussed (November 2009).


Kauffman PAES Conference on Financing Early Childhood Development

The Kauffman PAES Conference on Fianncing Early Childhood Development brought together researchers and business leaders who worked to identify finance principles and approaches for early childhood, which would enable an economy like the United States to overcome entrenched obstacles to investing in youth human capital. View the materials, including the report from the conference here.


Using Tax Credits to Promote High-Quality Early Childhood Education

Louise Stoney and Anne Mitchell

This paper explores the potential for individual or business tax credits/deductions to 1) help finance early care and education; 2) spur additional private investment; and 3) create incentives for families to use, and early childhood programs to offer, high-quality services. View the full report.


Investing in Children

Eugene Steuerle, Gillian Reynolds and Adam Carasso

This report points to the decreasing space in the federal budget that can be devoted to children, and the need for our country to reexamine priorities if early investments are to be sufficient for society's needs. View the research brief, or view the full report.