Early Care and Education

Achievement differences start early, and children who enter kindergarten behind their peers may never catch up.

I support universal pre-K. The county’s Office of Legislative Oversight recently found that the benefits of high-quality pre-k programs include substantial academic gains. Pre-K programs also result in increased academic and employment participation among parents and help to close achievement gaps by income, race, and ethnicity.

A strong early education system can improve school and life success for our children and have a positive and significant economic and educational impact in the community, generating substantial cost savings for society. Researchers estimate that every $1 spent on high-quality pre-k yields a return on investment of up to $8 for children with family incomes below the federal poverty level. For the lowest-income children, a year of high-quality pre-k yields a benefit of $84,000 per child – including reduced K-12 spending on special education, remediation, and school support costs; reduced criminal justice and child welfare costs; and increased future income for pre-k participants in adulthood.

Increased educational achievement results in greater earning power and increased productivity in adulthood, more involvement in the fabric of the community, and decreased reliance on government safety net programs.