The Voice of Business is Essential To Early Education
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Recognizing the importance of early childhood education in the development of both children and the economy, ICW partnered with PNC Bank, The Pew Charitable Trusts and Knowledge Universe Education to release a report entitled Ready, Set, Go! Why Business Should Support Early Childhood Education.
The Chamber recognizes that early childhood education provides many benefits to the business community. It enables school readiness and helps close the achievement gap, thus securing a well-prepared workforce. It also reduces both the short and long term costs of remedial education, social services, and incarceration.
Research, cited in Ready, Set, Go! shows that the first five years of life are the most important in a child’s development and that closing the achievement gap becomes much more difficult after the age of three. Therefore, the earlier an intervention occurs, the greater the pay off. The report also hails promising practices from several states, including California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and Virginia.
Dr. Sara Watson and Allison de le Torre of the Pew Center on the States, as well as Dr. Elanna Yalow of Knowledge Universe Education joined ICW for an open discussion Wednesday on early childhood education policy and implementation, as well as the role business leaders can play. Ideas from a communication pipeline for businesses interested in advocating early learning to the importance of integration were among the hot topics discussed.
“There’s a tremendous amount of work to do,” says Dr. Yalow. “But there is no more important investment that can be made to ensure both short and long term growth of our children and our nation.”
Ready, Set, Go! calls businesses to:
- Support a mixed provider delivery system
- Encourage alignment between the early learning system and the K-12 system
- Promote early learning policies as part of the economic development agenda
- Encourage the inclusion of early childhood data in the statewide longitudinal data system
- Encourage your state to adopt a Quality Rating Information System
- Encourage business organizations and networks to adopt a policy position in support of public investments for effective, high quality early education programs
We look forward to seeing how our members implement these ideas in their communities. For more information on action items, as well as a summary of the economic evidence behind investments in early childhood education, please visit www.uschamber.com/icw.