Public Values

Spend early on children, says OECD

New report compares public spending, policies for children with child-wellbeing in different countries.

by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

September 1, 2009 — Governments should invest more money on children in the first six years of their lives to reduce social inequality and help all children, especially the most vulnerable, have happier lives, according to the OECD's first-ever report on child well-being in its 30 member countries.

Doing Better for Children shows that average public spending by OECD countries up to age six accounts for only a quarter of all child spending. But a better balance of spending between the "Dora the Explorer" years of early childhood and the teenage "Facebook" years would help improve the health, education and well-being of all children in the long term, according to the report.

"The crisis is putting pressure on public budgets across the world. But any short-term savings on spending on children's education and health would have major long-term costs for society," said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria. "Governments should instead seize this opportunity to get better value from their investment in children. And spending early, when the foundations for a child's future are laid, is key especially for disadvantaged children and can help them break out of a family cycle of poverty and social exclusion."

Doing Better for Children compares public spending and policies for children with key indicators of child-wellbeing in OECD countries. These include education, health, housing, family incomes and quality of school life.

Countries that spend relatively more on their youngest children include Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland and Norway. In contrast, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States spend relatively little on young children...

To read further, please click on the links below:

Links and sources
  Spend early on children, says OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, September 1 2009
  OECD (2009), Doing Better for Children

Posted: September 27, 2009

  Public services
  Feedback and dialogue

Public Values ( is a project of the Golden Lake Institute and the online publication

Public Values
Donate to
Health care
Public services
Natural resources
Front lines
Voices of privatization
Feedback and dialogue
About Us
What is framing?
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Updated frequently
To view photo captions, run your mouse over the photo
Bookmark and Share

© Golden Lake Institute/, 2007-11 owns copyright on all staff-written articles.
We encourage others to freely distribute material from this website but, without explicit permission,
Web publishers may only use short excerpts that also include credit to us and a reference to our site for the full article.
This site is managed by the Golden Lake InstituteVisit Golden Lake Institute Website and Straight Goods NewsVisit Straight Goods News Website
For comments or suggestions, please contact the Editor
For technical issues, please contact the Webmaster