Investing in children as a highly profitable social investment

Studies in various scientifi c disciplines such as economics, epidemiology and psychology indicate that investments in children are very profi table investments. Such investments bring multiple benefi ts, both to the children of programme participants and to their families, the state and the society. One stream of research combines the benefi ts of investing in children’s health, which can have a positive impact on economic growth. On the other hand, benefi ts are evident in multiple areas, from greater opportunities for parents to participate in paid employment, reducing child poverty and sustainability of the social protection system, to alleviating demographic pressures and positive eff ects on economic growth. Although investments in children and families are consistently lower in Croatia than in European Union (EU) countries and there is a declaratory commitment among politicians about their importance, it is still planned to reduce funding in the 2020 budget. While allocations in the EU countries amount to an average of 2.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in Croatia it is 1.8% of GDP with a slight increase in recent years due to the expansion of the childcare sector in the fi eld of preschool education. In the Croatian context, the aforementioned topic has been researched in recent years within the discipline of social issues, with several researches pointing out that programmes and services intended for children are profi table social investments, especially when it comes to children at risk. Investments in children are becoming ever more important because of the advancement of children’s well-being, but also because of the great demographic challenges in Croatia.
Keywords: CHILD WELFARE; SOCIAL challenges
Category: Review
Volume: Vol. 64, No 2, april - june 2020
Authors: Zdenko Babić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2020;64:56-65

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