EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION
We improve early care and education by partnering with organizations that are leaders in changing systems, educating the public and advocating for children and their future.
We believe that high quality early care and education provides crucial long-term benefits for young children, their families and our communities. Birth to five years of age is the most critical stage of a child’s development, when they learn essential concepts such as self-confidence, motivation, curiosity, persistence, self-control, communication and balancing their needs with those of others.
Recent research in psychology and cognition demonstrates how vitally important the early preschool years are for skill formation. We can make a bigger difference and have more of an impact with younger children because the social skills they learn in the very early years set a pattern for acquiring life skills later. Children who participate in high quality early care and education programs are more likely to complete school, have a potential for higher earnings in their lifetimes and are much less likely to require welfare subsidies, become teen parents or participate in criminal activities. The long-term benefits of enriched early care and education provided by parents and caregivers are not necessarily limited to intellectual gains, but are also seen by measures of social performance and lifetime achievement.
To compromise our children’s future is to compromise our own. We believe an educated workforce, for generations to come, is essential for the continued economic success of our country. The implications of a lack of early, high quality care and education are serious and costly. From a public policy standpoint, it is more cost-effective to promote healthy development from the beginning of a child’s life rather than attempt to address the problems later.