Where Does Your Child Care Dollar Go?
Across the United States, it is not unusual for child care tuition to be the first- or second-largest household expense for families, costing more than mortgage or rent. Meanwhile, early childhood teachers are some of the lowest-paid professionals; nearly 40 percent of child care teachers rely on public assistance at some point in their careers. Early childhood programs themselves also operate on tight budgets. Continue reading...
-Simon Workman, Center For American Progress
"Early childhood services are critical to growing the skilled workforce our nation needs to thrive.”
– Ron Pointer, National Association of Workforce Boards
"Early childhood education has a tremendous impact on the national economic security and the viability of the American dream.”
– U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Institute for a Competitive Workforce
“Business is a big stakeholder in the skill level and productivity of the workforce, so it stands to reason that business should be involved in shaping the early education agenda. The war for talent will be easier if there is more talent.”
- Dennis Lockhart, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
Workforce Pipeline Failing
Despite a high unemployment rate, about half of the workforce, do not have the basic education and communication skills required to acquire and advance in jobs. Effective child care and preschool programs enable children to become more creative, adaptable, team-ready employees by developing “soft skills.” (Ready Nation - PDF, 416.68 KB)
We Can Fix it By Starting Early
Children have about 1,825 days from the day they are born until they enter kindergarten. Incredibly, 90% of brain development happens during this short time. The brain is the only organ not fully developed at birth. The wiring that forms the brain’s architecture happens in infancy and early childhood. And how that wiring is formed, either as a strong or weak foundation, depends on a child’s earliest experiences. (Zero to Three)
A Good Investment
A child’s quality of life and the contributions he or she will make to society can be directly traced to the first few years of life. High quality early education yields higher graduation rates, reduced crime, higher earnings, and better jobs. As a result, economists estimate that every dollar invested in early education produces a 7–10% return on investment through increased personal achievement and social productivity. (Heckman Equation ; Federal Reserve)