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Policy Options to Support Children from Birth to Age Three

November 2014

Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Public Sector Consultants


This report identifies Michigan’s 260,000 children at risk of falling behind their peers before kindergarten. This disproportionately includes children from low-income families and non-English-speaking homes. Investing early in children is also argued to be a highly effective strategy for economic development. The four areas of investment determined most important are home visiting programs, access to medical homes, high-quality childcare, and preschool for three-year-olds.

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Policy Implications

If the state invests greater resources to help children at risk, the report argues that it must be strategic and grounded in research. Workable programs that can be standardized and evaluated will serve Michigan’s children best. The economic benefits of investment in these programs would outweigh the financial burden long-term.

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