ERIC Number: EJ721418
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan-1
Reference Count: 38
Early Years Centres for Pre-School Children with Primary Language Difficulties: What Do They Cost, and are They Cost-Effective?
Law, J.; Dockrell, J. E.; Castelnuovo, E.; Williams, K.; Seeff, B.; Normand, C.
International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, v41 n1 p67-81 Jan 2006
Background: High levels of early language difficulties raise practical issues about the efficient and effective means of meeting children's needs. Persistent language difficulties place significant financial pressures on health and education services. This has led to large investment in intervention in the early years; yet, little is known about the actual and relative costs of early years provision. Aims: To profile the different costs incurred by two Early Years Centres (EYCs) partially funded by the charity I CAN and children receiving what might be termed "routine" NHS speech therapy to provide an analysis of cost efficiency and equity. Methods & Procedures: Costings for service provision for 91 children (mean age 2;9) were collected. The activity of staff at each site and the cost of staff allocated to services were computed. Data on other resources were also collected. Outcomes & Results: The cost per child per session was on average 12 British Pounds. Despite the longer course of intervention in the first centre (10 compared with 6 weeks), the cost of the course per child was of the same order (245 British Pounds compared with 253 British Pounds). The annual cost of the early years provision per child was higher relative to the costs of the NHS provision, 645 British Pounds compared with 181 British Pounds in one EYC (A) and 462 British Pounds compared with 173 British Pounds in the other (B). When the cost of standard nursery provision was factored in, the difference in annual costs was rather less, with 5298 for the early years provision (EYC A) relative to 4276 British Pounds in the comparison group. By contrast, the annual cost of early provision rises to 5926 British Pounds relative to 8861 British Pounds in the comparison group (EYC B). Conclusions: The cost of the EYCs is relatively low and given the positive outcomes reported in the study of which this economic evaluation is a part, there is a good case for saying that they represent an efficient use of resources. The strengths and limitations of the economic evaluation are considered and the need for longterm evaluations is highlighted.
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, Costs, Speech Therapy, Preschool Children, Foreign Countries, Speech Impairments, Language Impairments, Cost Effectiveness
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom