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China Invests Billions in Early Ed

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NARRATOR: Family policy in Québec has wide support. No politician would dare try to dismantle it. More and more, the U.S. has become an outlier in its child and family policies.

European footage

NAR: Every other rich nation guarantees paid maternal leave, and many offer paid leave for fathers as well. Most provide affordable child care or free preschool for all children. Like Perry, teachers usually have a degree in education. And now China is applying the lessons of Perry Preschool, Abecedarian and Chicago—investing billions in early education.

Rob Dugger, Economist and Investment Banker; Co-Founder, ReadyNation:

In years traveling in East Asia and elsewhere in the world, top people managing large amounts of resources asked me again and again, “Rob, why are Americans not investing in their own children? And I tried my best to explain but their answer back to me was “Rob, this makes no sense—this is nuts!”

James Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2000, University of Chicago

A month ago I was in Beijing, and what really encouraged me was that as part of their long run planning policy to reduce poverty in China, they were starting to develop early childhood programs. It sees early childhood and sees their whole policy towards early years as being fundamental for its success in the future.

NAR: If research from our own country’s experiments is inspiring governments around the world, why haven’t we applied these lessons ourselves?