High-Quality Preschool
Social Impact Bond

Pay for Success

We're seeing BIG progress!

In August 2013, America’s first “Social Impact Bond” (SIB) or “Pay for Success” (PFS) transaction for early childhood education was established in Utah. Two years later, the results from the first cohort of children to receive high-quality preschool financed through the PFS transaction show that both the preschool intervention, and the PFS financing mechanism itself, have been successful, based on a review by an independent evaluator.

How it Worked

High-quality preschool has been proven to help kids start kindergarten ready to learn. Many at-risk kids in our community enter kindergarten significantly behind their peers, and because of this, can never catch up. Preschool can close this achievement gap so that all kids, regardless of their circumstances, have the same chance to succeed. Help support high-quality preschool today!

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See how High Quality Preschool is Helps Kids in Our Community!

"My kids have really grown. I don't think [my kids] would be where they are if it wasn't for the preschool. That basic step is what prepares you to succeed in school, and later, in life."

- Rebecca Allen, Local Parent

News Articles

Pay for preschool success

December 9, 2015

Author: Katherine B. Stevens | US News & World Report

An innovative new approach to results-based public financing called Pay for Success hit an unexpected bump in the road last month. The country’s second Pay for Success project, a preschool program in Salt Lake City, Utah, reported strong results which, after initial acclaim, were heavily criticized for overstating the project’s benefits.

In our opinion: Salt Lake County considers Pay for Success initiative

December 8, 2015

Author: Deseret News

The United Way of Salt Lake spearheaded the preschool project, which launched in 2013. Goldman Sachs put up just over $5 million, partnering with a smaller investor, and the Granite School District taught the resulting preschool classes. Two years later, the results are impressive.

John Hoffmire: 'Pay for success' — when government, private and community interests align

November 14, 2015

Author: John Hoffmire | Deseret News

Often policies are proposed based on stories and anecdotes rather than data, or no measurable goals are proposed to accompany a policy. In the last few years, innovative “pay for success” programs are transforming the way in which government develops and implements policy in various places around the country, including Salt Lake City.

Letter: Stand by Pay for Success

November 14, 2015

Author: Robert Dugger | The Salt Lake Tribune

As the co-founder of ReadyNation and a stalwart supporter of quality early learning, I agree with the educators and researchers who are saluting the success of the Pay for Success approach that's making quality preschool available to Salt Lake County youngsters.

Why Social Impact Bonds still have promise

November 13, 2015

Author: Kenneth A. Dodge | The New York Times

The most intriguing innovation of the century in public financing of social services is suddenly at risk of being flushed down the drain. “Pay for success” programs, otherwise known as social impact bonds, are a way for government to secure private investment in social programs and to minimize risk because payback with interest to the investor occurs only upon proof that the program achieves successful outcomes.

Editorial: Readiness program worth pursuing, even with doubts

November 9, 2015

Author: Salt Lake Tribune

Frustrated by the eternal unwillingness of the Utah Legislature to properly fund K-12 education, much less preschool, the United Way, Salt Lake County and other education advocates joined with the bankers at Goldman Sachs and the philanthropists of the J.B. Pritzker Foundation to create the School Readiness Initiative.

Organizers of Utah’s privately funded preschool program stand behind model after NYT criticism

November 7, 2015

Author: Benjamin Wood | The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah government officials, community advocates and investment bankers joined together last month to tout the early success of a preschool program funded through a private loan.

When solid data leads to action – kids’ lives improve

November 5, 2015

Author: Bill Crim | UWSL The Hub

Every day, in classrooms in our state and across the country, thousands of kids get left behind because adults fail to take advantage of opportunities that could change the trajectory of their lives forever. We are incredibly proud that in Utah, the status quo is not good enough. We are proud we have data driven preschool providers focused on closing the opportunity gap, and we are proud our elected officials and business leaders are willing to innovate in order to improve educational outcomes that are no longer acceptable.

How Goldman Sachs made money investing in preschool in Utah

October 28, 2015

Author: Emily DeRuy | National Journal

The Wall Street firm issued a first-ever social impact bond as a test case and the results are in. In the Utah pro­gram’s first co­hort, 595 3- and 4-year-olds at­ten­ded preschool. Ini­tial test­ing sug­ges­ted that 110 of them would likely need spe­cial edu­ca­tion in grade school. Of those stu­dents, just one needed spe­cial-edu­ca­tion ser­vices.

Pay-For-Success is working in Utah

October 27, 2015

Author: Jeff Edmondson, Bill Crim, & Allen Grossman | Stanford Social Innovation Review

In August 2013, key stakeholders in a collective impact partnership in Utah entered into one of America’s first pay-for-success (PFS) contracts, otherwise known as a social impact bond (SIB). The plan called for United Way of Salt Lake to work with area partners to expand high quality preschool opportunities in high-need communities, and for Goldman Sachs and J.B. Pritzker to provide $7 million in up-front funding to pay for the program. We are proud to say that the initiative has been a resounding success.

Goldman Sachs paid to expand pre-K in Utah. It worked.

October 19, 2015

Author: Libby Nelson | Vox

There's something for just about everyone to feel good about in Salt Lake's pre-kindergarten program. The state, with money from Goldman Sachs, expanded the program to serve more children from low-income families. In the end, Utah saved money, investors made money, and nearly every student who participated ended up not needing special education in kindergarten.

Op-ed: Utah’s Pay for Success is a model ready for federal funding

October 10, 2015

Author: Orin Hatch, Kem Gardner | The Salt Lake Tribune

As a pioneer in Pay-for-Success approaches to policy challenges, Utah has engineered innovative programs to save taxpayer money and facilitate public-private partnerships. Following the principles of results-based financing, our state has even developed the world's very first Pay-for-Success initiative to fund early childhood education.

Why this preschool just wrote Goldman Sachs a check

October 8, 2015

Author: Ben Walsh | The Huffington Post

Goldman Sachs is getting a $267,000 check from an unlikely source: a United Way of Salt Lake public preschool program.

For Goldman, success in Social Impact Bond that aids schoolchildren

October 7, 2015

Author: Nathaniel Popper | The New York Times

Financial results at Goldman Sachs are going to look a little bit better this quarter because of the educational success of 100 or so kindergarten pupils in Utah.

Preschool paying off for Goldman Sachs and Utah kids, according to United Way

October 7, 2015

Author: Benjamin Wood | The Salt Lake Tribune

Enrolling in high-quality preschool programs helps children enter kindergarten prepared to learn — and you can take that to the bank. That's the message from the United Way of Salt Lake, which announced Wednesday that a check for $267,000 had been cut for investment bankers who funded public-preschool expansion in Utah.

Goldman nets payout as Social Impact Bond project in Utah meets targets

October 7, 2015

Author: Olivia Oran | Reuters

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and its investment partner will be paid $267,000 for helping to fund a philanthropic program that reduced the number of children needing special education services after preschool.

Letting investors take a shot at curing social ills

September 23, 2014

Author: John C. Williams | The Wall Street Journal

What if there were a way to solve the country's most intractable social problems—homelessness, crime or inequities in education, for example—without putting taxpayer money at risk? There might be.

Goldman Sachs bets on SLC early education program

JUNE 16, 2013

Author: Paul Foy | San Francisco Chronicle

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Goldman Sachs plans to announce this week that it will finance an early education program in Utah and it expects to make money on the venture.

United Way partners with big business to boost preschool

JUNE 14, 2013

Author: ABC 4

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Ut (ABC 4 Utah) - For the first time, funding is in place for Granite School District's high quality preschool.

Utah public preschool push gets $7 million from private investors

JUNE 14, 2013

Author: Kirsten Stewart | The Salt Lake Tribune

Public preschool has been a no-go in Utah, despite mounting evidence of its academic, social and economic benefits. But the United Way of Salt Lake has devised a way to prove its worth to taxpayers. The charity this week struck a $7 million investment deal with the banking firm Goldman Sachs and Chicago-based J.B. Pritzker Foundation to expand access to early childhood education for up to 3,700 low-income children.

A new way to finance early childhood education

JUNE 14, 2013

Author: Alicia Glen | Huffington Post

Financial instruments and preschoolers don't seem like an obvious match, but one stemming from an innovative pairing of the public and private sector offers a promising way to expand access to early education for at-risk children.

Novel investment to boost preschools

JUNE 13, 2013

Author: Joe Barrett | Wall Street Journal

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private-equity investor J.B. Pritzker are lending money for a preschool program for disadvantaged children in Utah—and they will get paid back only if the kids who are most behind do well in elementary school.

Pritzker, Goldman Sachs announce $20 million first phase of early childhood innovation accelerator initiative

JUNE 13, 2013

Author: CNBC

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- At President Clinton's CGI America Conference in Chicago today, investor J.B. Pritzker announced commitments for $20 million as the first phase of an Early Childhood Innovation Accelerator (the “Accelerator”) to increase the availability and quality of early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children.

Pritzker, Goldman Sachs announce $20 million first phase of early childhood innovation accelerator initiative

JUNE 13, 2013

Author: The Herald Online

Novel Social Impact Investments to Debut at CGI America Conference in Chicago.

Goldman Sachs to finance early education program

JUNE 13, 2013

Author: William Alden | NY Times

Investment Banking June 12, 2013, 11:00 pm Comment Goldman Sachs to Finance Early Education Program By WILLIAM ALDEN Goldman Sachs is making its second foray into an experimental method of financing social services, lending up to $4.6 million for a childhood education program in Salt Lake City.

My view: Investments in quality preschool an investment in the future

JUNE 11, 2013

Author: Mona Burton | Deseret News

As a partner of a law firm with offices across the Mountain West and in Washington, D.C., board chair of United Way of Salt Lake, and a volunteer job coach for refugee youth, I strongly believe in supporting programs that will change the odds for children, communities, businesses and our economy.

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