Thus, a benefit-cost analysis for these two types of intervention would discount to different points in the life cycle, and the discounted values would not be strictly comparable, unless this difference was properly taken into account. The program design may allow for follow-up with the children who participate, their parents and siblings, or even their own offspring. Analysis that includes projected outcomes for these potential beneficiaries will be constrained by the program design, which would further complicate efforts to standardize.
Thus, the current state of benefit-cost analysis of early childhood interventions might be described as promising but still somewhat unsettled. With this overview in mind, participants considered the three primary elements of benefit-cost analysis and then considered their policy implications.