Professor James Heckman was recently in Australia to give his keynote presentation at the NIFTeY 2006 conference, Prevention: Invest now or pay later.
Notes from Professor Heckman's presentation, The Economics of Investing in Early Childhood (PDF), are available from the NIFTeY website.
The economics of early childhood investment
Professor Heckman's progressive views have aroused interest from many sources.
On Line Opinion, Australia's e-journal of social and political opinion, published an online article entitled Investing in early childhood. This article looks at the policy implications of Professor Heckman's views that there neeeds to be greater investment in early childhood services and programs.
The article begins:
The Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman visited Australia last week. Unusually for an economist, he had a simple message to deliver: our societies are not investing enough in early childhood intervention programs.
An interview with Professor Heckman
Professor Heckman was also able to speak on the ABC Radio program AM earlier this month.
Professor Heckman says:
I think now we spend probably too much in the later years fixing things that we could fix much more cheaply in the early years.
A transcript of the interview is available on the ABC website: Economist argues for early childhood programs
In November 2005, Graham Vimpani, Head of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Newcastle highlighted the Government's worrying inactivity on early childhood issues.
Supporting the stance of Professor Heckman, Professor Vimpani argues that the early childhood field needs an increased profile and investment from the Government.
Read more about Professor Vimpani's views in the recent news item:The case for investment in early childhood