PORTLAND — A new report says that investing in quality child care and education will produce a well-trained work force down the road.

The study, released today by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine Development Foundation, found that every dollar invested in early childhood education produces a dividend of up to $16 in economic benefit, said Laurie Lachance, chief executive officer of the Maine Development Foundation.

The full report, called “Making Maine Work: Investment in Young Children = Real Economic Development,” is available online.

The report is the third in the “Making Maine Work” series. Earlier reports were a survey of the needs of businesses and a look at the state’s public university system.

The report found that Maine’s work force currently ranks low in both productivity and wages and that jobs of the future will require workers to be more skilled in math and science. The state’s education system, the report said, needs to be transformed to better prepare students for the jobs that will be most sought in the future economy.

The report said the foundation is set in the first few years of life, with most of the core brain structure formed by age 3. And, the report said, Maine can develop a world-class work force if it views early education as part of a work force development effort.


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