How a Better Understanding of Scaling Can Enhance Early Childhood Policy and Improve Lives

Report | May 27, 2021

A wealth of literature demonstrates the value of early childhood programs and their potential to change lives.

Often-cited research indicates that high-quality early childhood programs deliver annual returns on investment of 7-13%. And yet, evidencebased early childhood interventions have not yet generated significant population-level change for children or caregivers living in poverty. One reason is that there is a critical missing link in the evidence-based policymaking process: understanding how to scale evidence-based programs (EBPs). The incredible promise of a 13% ROI, not to mention the life-altering effects of participating in a high-quality early childhood program, only hold true if the programs found to produce such results can be scaled up to serve a broader population.