We now know the vast majority of our children’s brain development happens at 0-5 years and ensuring high quality experiences during this period is crucial to school success and beyond.
We know the value of education, which is why we invest over 50 percent of our county budget in K-12. Yet, we invest less than 1 percent in child care and early education.
As economists like James Heckman have noted, this is fertile ground that can yield great economic returns. It’s not a handout, but an investment. It allows parents to work while their kids are being prepared for success in school and for life.
But child care is expensive. Even where both parents are fully employed, many families cannot afford it and their children are likely to show up for kindergarten already behind and less equipped for success.
Other jurisdictions have realized this problem and their citizens are supporting dedicated funding sources to make substantial investments in their youngest children who need it most. Wouldn’t it be wise for us to think ahead on this issue and join them?
Shaun M. Rose, Kensington – http://www.gazette.net/