"The second point to make is that when we hear “early childhood education” we mostly think of pre-K. In fact, the earlier the intervention, the better. Helping pregnant moms avoid substance abuse is highly cost-effective, and then helping them through home visitation programs like Nurse Family Partnership in the first couple of years of life is crucial as well."
He's conflating two contrasting policies:
- Pre-K is about the government making life easier for bad mothers by taking their 4-year olds off their hands for much of the day. Pre-K helps bad mothers have enough time, energy, and money to hit the clubs and make more children.
- Nurse visits are about the government making life harder for bad welfare mothers by inspecting them in their homes and browbeating them to do a better job of mothering. Nurse visits should, ideally, teach bad welfare mothers how hard it is to be good mothers (in the eyes of the government), which, if carried out staunchly, might help discourage the bad mothers from having another child quite so soon.