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For Immediate Release:
December 18, 2008
NAEYC Calls for Investments in Early Childhood Education to Make America Stronger
Making investments in early childhood education is necessary to help America prosper and reach its potential
(Washington, D.C.)– The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s premier association of early childhood professionals working with and on behalf of children from birth to third grade, urges the President-Elect and 111th Congress to adequately fund early childhood education as part of an economic recovery package to ensure our children are ready for school, work and life.
“Investments in high-quality early childhood education have short and long term positive results for children, communities and our nation’s economic recovery,” said Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. “Investments in child care, Head Start and other programs not only help strengthen the economy today, they are a down payment on a stronger American workforce and thus a more stable and successful national economy of the future.”
For eight years early childhood education has not been adequately funded, yet costs to run and maintain child care facilities and early learning programs have increased at a faster rate than inflation. As elected leaders look to creating jobs and building sustainable resources, we must invest in human capital and reap the high returns that come to all of us when those investments are made in high-quality programs for young children.
Economists such as Nobel Laureate James Heckman, Art Rolnick of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, and James Cooley of the New York University School of Business have said that investing in early childhood education is the smartest choice for our country’s future. Not only does early childhood education lead to a significant return on investment, but studies show that high-quality, well-financed programs prevent higher costs to society later through less remedial education, lower juvenile crime rate, and lower school dropout rates.
Investing in early childhood programs would not only help parents remain in or enter the workforce, but also strengthen the current early childhood workforce. One study found that by making it possible for parents to work, the licensed child care sector allows Americans to earn more than $100 billion annually.
Supporting children is not just the right thing to do, it is one of the smartest investments we can make for our nation’s future. NAEYC looks forward to working with the new Congress and Administration on making early childhood education a top priority through this tough economic situation and in the years to come.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the United States.
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.