Social democracy in a paragraph

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Comment | A destiny linked to Iraq is the only thing they share: Polly Toynbee
Johnson’s greatest success was his Head Start programme for under-fives. Founded 38 years ago, every study shows how intensive support for poor children with education, health and nutrition has delivered children ready to learn when they enter primary school. One famous study followed for 30 years the destiny of a group of children from the programme and compared them with a control group of poor children who were among the many who never got a Head Start place. It found that every $1 Head Start spent saved $7 later on social security, mental health and crime. Many more Head Start children went on to university, owned their own homes and never drew welfare. Another study just out has revised the sum to $8.74 for every dollar spent. It was the well-monitored results of the US Head Start programme that inspired Britain’s similar Sure Start children’s centres. A third of people working for Head Start are mothers who were themselves helped by it.

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
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