Ben Bernanke is well known economist. His wife is a teacher and together they have two children. He is also a former school board member. Oh yeah, he's also the current chairman of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. Known as "The Fed", this group establishes the value of the U.S. dollar, and guides policy intended to provide the nation with a stable financial system. Heckuva responsibility, and you would think all he thinks about are interest rates, effects of unemployment, and regulatory questions. You may wonder, what does the Fed or Ben Bernanke have to do with Preschool Education?
Well, according to Bernanke, "Economically speaking, early childhood programs are a good investment, with inflation-adjusted annual rates of return on the funds dedicated to these programs estimated to reach 10 percent or higher. Very few alternative investments can promise that kind of return." Compare this to a typical investment fund, where a "good" return is around 7%. So, the lead economist of our nation confirms what we've always known, and puts it in dollars - investing in children is the best money we can spend, not only to the benefit of each child, but society as a whole. Here's how Ben Bernanke put it, "When individuals are denied opportunities to reach their maximum potential, it harms not only those individuals, of course, but also the larger economy, which depends vitally on having a skilled, productive workforce. As a result, we all have a stake in the essential work that you are doing for our children."
You can view his entire, short, address to the Children's Defense Fund here.