Early Childhood Education Increasingly a Nationwide Priority

There’s big news in a recent poll released by the First Five Years Fund: People throughout the country now broadly support strengthening early childhood education.

Indeed, 85% of those polled say that ensuring that children get a strong start in life is one of the nation’s top priorities.

We’re pleased to see this issue is now getting the attention it deserves, as the early years are so critical to a child’s development and prospects for success in school and in life.

Over the past few years, states as diverse as Oklahoma, Georgia, Illinois, Florida, West Virginia, and Maine have adopted statewide preschool or pre-kindergarten programs, and several others are working toward that goal.

Many of the largest cities around the country, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Denver, and Washington, D.C. are actively working to increase access to high quality early childhood education.

This broad public support is consistent with economic analyses of the benefits of early childhood education. For example, according to a research project of the First Five Years Fund, investment in early childhood education yields a 7-10% annual return, greater than the average rate of return for either the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&sd;P 500 Index over the last 40 years.

At Age of Learning, we’ve been pleased to see early childhood education gaining support across the U.S. As we look beyond our borders and make high-quality early learning resources available globally, we’re hopeful that countries throughout the world will increasingly recognize the critical importance of—and take action to advance—early childhood education.