Having called early childhood education “the best investment we can make,” Arthur J. Rolnick, a national champion on the economic benefits of early education, will talk at a luncheon at Northern Arizona University next week about the return on investment in early childhood.

The luncheon will take place from 11:30 a.m.  to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the High Country Conference Center.

Studies have suggested a return to society of more than $17 for every dollar invested in early care and education programs.

Rolnick is a senior fellow and co-director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative and a former economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Some of his publications and papers can be found online.

Also on hand to talk about the state of early childhood in Arizona will be Karen Ortiz, vice president for the Helios Education Foundation, and Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO and executive director for First Things First.

For information, contact Pamela Powell, associate professor for NAU’s College of Education, at (928) 523-5644 or Pamela.Powell@nau.edu.