These early interventions, when run well, appear to initiate a process of skills building that leads to a higher-quality adult labor force, which helps increase wages and employment rates. Therefore, early childhood programs can be seen as "labor supply side" policies to promote local economic development. Timothy Bartik has documented substantial returns on investment in high-quality preschool.
In addition to affecting the adult earnings of former child participants, the quality, availability, and cost of child care all have important implications for parents’ labor market participation. The Upjohn Institute has sponsored research on child care centers and employer-sponsored preschool programs.