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Paying for pre-K education pays off

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Regarding WHAT’S GOOD FOR KIDS IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS [May], pay now or pay more later is the quick description. Society at large and businesses specifically benefit from investing in the youngest members of our community.

For instance, the Children’s Relief Nursery (CRN) works to prevent child abuse and neglect. The St. Johns facility serves children from newborn to age 3. The program provides parent training, as well as therapeutic classrooms, a home program, mental health therapy and respite care. The statistics prove the importance of a young child’s early development and how it directly impacts the success of their lives. The cost to go through the CRN program is about $8,000 a year per child. Without the program’s training and help, parents say, their children likely would have ended up in foster care, which costs about $15,000 per child per year. The annual price of juvenile detention is around $30,000 and prison $45,000.

The price of not investing becomes significantly greater as the child gets older. Our prisons are full of adults who were abused as children.

Judy Edwards
Board member, Children’s Relief Nursery
Executive director, Multnomah Bar Association


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