In the 2014 State of the Union Address on January 28th, President Obama maintained his commitment to supporting young children’s access to high quality early childhood programs. Early childhood issues are not partisan issues, and we are pleased at the progress that was made throughout the past year by policy-makers to bring these issues to light. The Strong Start for America’s Children’s Act is just one example, and although there is much more to be done, this bipartisan effort is a wonderful start.
Research also shows that investing in the crucial years from birth to age five yields a high return on investment. By giving our children the start they need to be successful in life, we are building a well-educated workforce with advanced skills, knowledge and experience to grow a strong defense and economy, as well as a healthy and productive society.
Professor James Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics and expert in early childhood development, issued the following statement in response to the President’s State of the Union Address:
“It’s heartening to see that for two years early childhood education has been a prominent part of the President’s policy proposals. There is a strong body of evidence that shows early childhood education has great value for disadvantaged children, their families and society. President Obama was right to point out that the accident of birth should not limit the opportunity for any child to move up in the world. He’s right that research does show that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is high-quality early childhood education. It is an effective way to reduce economic inequality by promoting the skills that increase achievement and productivity.”
We are grateful to everyone who is working to make young children a priority. Please check back regularly for resources and information on how you can advocate for our youngest learners in Durham.