Investing in Early Education

Investing in Early Education and Childcare

The most critical time to nurture, shape, and inspire a healthy, productive, successful future are the years between birth and age five. Ms. Heather explained the importance of investing in Early Education on The Rhode Show. Watch her segment here.

Here are some of the biggest, most impactful returns we can expect to see if we invest in our children’s early childhood education:

  • Closes and even prevents the achievement gap – Taking a proactive approach to cognitive and social skill development through investments in quality early childhood programs is more effective and economically efficient than trying to close the gap later on
  • Improves health outcomes – Access to high quality early learning can care has been linked to improved health outcomes. Early intervention during a child’s first five years of life can rectify issues during prime developmental years, preventing such issues to carry later on into life.
  • Reduces costs during the later years – Early childhood education not only provides education for children, but also provides families an opportunity to understand child growth and development. Early learning programs provide developmental opportunities that can help reduce problems such as poor health, drop out rates, poverty, and crime, by establishing a life long love for learning and a positive attitude toward the world that surrounds us during the most important years of development and learning.
  • Prevention – Taking preventative measures is more cost effective in the early years than remediation in later years of life. We can truly impact our society’s future if we pay attention to the well being of our youngest members of society.
  • It’s a smart investment – Among some of the longest range studies, it has been proven that the return on investment in early childhood education can be anywhere between $4 and $9 per dollar spent. Furthermore, studies show that children who have had access to high quality early learning earn higher wages later in life as adults than those who did not.
  • The early years directly effect adulthood – Early experiences can have a lasting impact on our cognitive, social, and physical health as adults

So, what’s the major message? Perhaps now more than ever, especially during an election year, it is so critical that families, teachers, and other service providers advocate – EVERY CHILD NEEDS A VOICE! Find your local state legislators, pick up the phone – and be the voice for early childhood education.

For additional information, you may also contact the RI Campaign for Quality Care to learn more about what Rhode Islanders are doing to improve outcomes for children and families.

This article was written by Heather Grocott, Director of Education and Training at The Children’s Workshop in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

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