This study examined the long-term cost-savings of the Better Beginnings, Better Futures (BBBF) initiative, a community-based early intervention project for young children living in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods during their transition to primary school. A quasi-experimental, longitudinal two-group design was used to compare costs and outcomes for children and families in three BBBF project neighborhoods (n = 401) and two comparison neighborhoods (n = 225). A cost-savings analysis was conducted using all project costs for providing up to 4 years of BBBF programs when children were in junior kindergarten (JK) (4 years old) to grade 2 (8 years old). Data on 19 government service cost measures were collected from the longitudinal research sample from the time the youth were in JK through to grade 12 (18 years old), 10 years after ending project participation. The average family incremental net savings to government of providing the BBBF project was $6331 in 2014 Canadian dollars. When the BBBF monetary return to government as a ratio of savings to costs was calculated, for every dollar invested by the government, a return of $2.50 per family was saved. Findings from this study have important implications for government investments in early interventions focused on a successful transition to primary school as well as parenting programs and community development initiatives in support of children’s development.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 30, 2015
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