February 6, 2017 (Boise, ID) - Efforts continue to gain support for investments in quality early learning programs for Idaho’s youngest children. Research is clear that children with access to high quality early learning programs enter school better prepared than children who do not have these opportunities. At Early Learning Legislative Day, on Wednesday, February 8th, supporters will bring attention to the importance of early learning through an interactive BLOCK Fest for Idaho kids in the Capitol Rotunda.
Idaho ranks 50th nationally in the number of 3 and 4 year-olds enrolled in pre-school and one of a handful of state governments that does not provide state funding for pre-k. While there has been a renewed emphasis on education during the past few legislative sessions, advocates, teachers and business leaders see a need to bring more attention to the issue of early childhood education.
“We continue to see close to half of Idaho’s children entering kindergarten without the foundational skills they need for future success,” states Beth Oppenheimer, Idaho AEYC Executive Director. “We are seeing increased funding for early learning throughout most states across the country and it’s unfortunate that our children in Idaho don’t get those opportunities.”
Quality early learning programs impacts children’s learning experiences as they develop their academic, social, emotional and cognitive skills. Experiences during a child’s life, birth to age five can shape their future success and can help to close the achievement gap.
“We want all children in Idaho to have every opportunity to be prepared to enter school and succeed throughout their academic career. It’s time that we stop talking about it and take action by investing in quality early learning programs for all children,” concludes Oppenheimer.
Starting early provides a greater return. For every dollar invested in high quality, birth-to-five early learning programs there is a 13% return on investment down the road, finds The Heckerman Equation. Quality child care helps parents grow their income and children prepare for success in school and life.
More information can be found here.
The Heckman Equation Summary on: Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
The nonprofit Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children (Idaho AEYC) is dedicated to advancing Idaho's early learning profession and advocating for children and families. The organization was founded in 1984 and is headquartered in Boise, Idaho. Learn more at idahoaeyc.org