A health economics report exploring the case for investing in Early Years in Wales
PHE ePoster Library. Lloyd-Williams H. 09/13/16; 138100; 258
Huw Lloyd-Williams
Huw Lloyd-Williams
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Abstract BackgroundLife-expectancy and healthy life expectancy depend on the socioeconomic and wider determinants of health. At birth there is an 18.9 year difference in healthy life expectancy between the least and most deprived area of Wales. Multidisciplinary public health policy requires that prevention interventions are increasingly assessed in terms of the return on investment (ROI). MethodsWe constructed a framework to explore international and UK evidence on the relative ROI of devoting public sector resources to programmes and practices investing in the Early Years in Wales considering the child and whole family; education and skills, and a child's environment and wider community.FindingsMethods of ROI calculation are not standardized so comparisons across programmes are difficult to make. We present the cost to the Welsh economy of not investing in the Early Years e.g. prevention of adverse childhood experiences which impose staggering costs on the public sector including the NHS, social care and the judicial system.InterpretationThere are efficiency and equity economic arguments for investing in early years, both for this generation and for future generations. Investment in Early Years in Wales can contribute to the building of social capital and promote economic growth and should be considered in the same way as European or National investment in wider economic development. Future health economics research on Early Years should be conducted across sectors capturing and valuing immediate benefits, relevant to political time horizons, and longer-term benefits using an appropriate discount rate. External funding details Funded by Public Health Wales
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