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Early Education is an Investment in Our Future

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In her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in June 2013, Secretary Clinton asked the audience, “Why is it that China is committed to providing 70% of its children with three years of preschool by 2020?” It wasn’t just a rhetorical question—Clinton was making a point about how developing countries like China and India have quickly realized that investments in early childhood education equal a smarter workforce that is ready to compete in a global economy.

As research continues to show, the learning children do from birth to age 5 serves as scaffolding for later learning, and helps children acquire the social, emotional and communications skills they need to succeed in school and the workforce.

Children who don’t receive a quality early education start off behind, and struggle to catch up for the rest of their lives.

While government has a role to play in ensuring that children have access to high-quality early childhood education programs, parents, caregivers, businesses and communities have an equally important role in ensuring that young children receive the support they need in these critical first years as their brains are rapidly growing.

Learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Parents can talk to their children, spend quality time with them, and encourage playful interactions with their environments to help increase their vocabularies and their responsiveness to learning. 

Similarly, the private sector can acknowledge the benefits of early learning to our society by offering family-friendly work schedules and child care benefits to working parents, and can promote the need for quality early education.

As Secretary Clinton said, there is a role for all of us to play if we want America’s children to be the best that they can be.


Read More:

  • Positive parent-child relationships form the foundation for children’s learning. Read more »
  • Thrive by Five and the Washington State Department of Early Learning put together a sampling of evidence-based tips for parents to “love, talk, and play” with their growing child. Read more »


In The News

  • A sheriff and police officer team up to send a message that early education is not only good for child development, it’s one of the best ways to prevent future crime. Read more »
  • Early education “is the civil rights issue of our generation,” says Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a stop in Minnesota. Read more »


Did You Know?

Benefits of preschool extend through fifth grade »

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