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Why Early Education Matters
High-quality early education programs are proven to
Help children enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed in school
Increase high-school graduation rates and college attendance
Reduce teen pregnancy rates, crime, and other social problems
Reduce long-term social costs for special education, child welfare, and public assistance
The achievement gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers is apparent by 18 months of age.
The good news is that we know that early learning programs significantly narrow this achievement gap.
In California, early childhood programs include the California State Preschool Program, Transitional Kindergarten, federally funded Early Head Start and Head Start, voluntary home visitation programs and programs that provide early screening and treatment of developmental delays.
High-quality early childhood investments provide both short- and long-term economic benefits.
They are the most effective investments the government can make, even during difficult fiscal times.
Not investing in at-risk children through early childhood programs poses a profound threat to the future of our economy.
Fast-forward 20 years without adequate investments in early childhood service, and we are left with a less educated workforce that has a lower earning potential, is making fewer tax contributions, and is creating a greater need for spending on preventable social services.
While we focus on balancing the budget, we must recognize that early childhood programs are cost-effective investments that are critical to the country and state’s continuing economic growth.
To learn more about the research behind these facts: