Thrive By Five18 Mar 2019

Business investment in kids provides ongoing rewards

Harvard professor believes corporate investment in early-childhood development will have long-term benefits.

Early-Childhood-investment
Young children at a childcare centre in Katanning Photo Credit: Nick Duncan.

This article was written by Alana Buckley-Carr , Communications Specialist from CoLab. CoLab is a partnership between the Minderoo Foundation and Telethon Kids Institute

Corporates and private investors are beginning to realise the benefits of investing in early years initiatives, according to international demographer and economist Professor David Bloom.

Prof. Bloom, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was recently hosted in Perth by the Forrest Research Foundation, CoLab and Telethon Kids.

Prof. Bloom is a member of CoLab’s systematic review working group that consists of key international and national economists across the disciplines of health, social welfare, education and labour.

During his two-week visit, Prof. Bloom worked with the CoLab economists and systematic working group. He also met with the West Australian Premier, Health Minister and Treasurer and a range of stakeholders.

He said the business community was beginning to realise the long-term benefits of investing in early years initiatives, which impact children aged zero to five.

“Corporations increasingly recognise the employees that work for them don’t just care about helping them generate high profits for shareholders – they want to do good, they want to feel like they are making a difference to their communities and societies,” Prof. Bloom said.

“That’s another reason that if a corporation gets involved in early childhood development and that is perceived, as it should be, as doing something for families, communities and the whole of Australian society, then that is very motivating and they’re more likely to stay with their employer.

“Its easier to recruit people when they think that they’re getting involved with corporations that care about more than just profitability.”

He said when companies were interested in social good as well as financial success then it was easier to recruit, retain and motivate staff, which “pays off on the bottom line for companies, for sure”.

Prof. Bloom said the work taking place at CoLab, in partnership with the Minderoo Foundation, was “breathtaking” and of international significance.

“All over the world there’s tremendous demand for knowledge in this particular area and I think the Telethon Kids Institute is basically an epicentre for developing this kind of knowledge,” Prof. Bloom said.

You can read more of Prof Bloom’s interview HERE

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation
Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with seven key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.
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