The tie that binds: early childhood education

August 9, 2017

A recent poll from the First Five Years Fund reaffirms strong public support for investing in affordable child care and high-quality early childhood programs. The poll also demonstrates that the public believes high-quality early childhood programs offer a strong return on investment in terms of school readiness and workforce preparedness.

The national poll shows broad support for early childhood initiatives – support that transcends political parties. According to the poll, “79% of voters (surveyed) – including 80% of Trump voters and 79% of Clinton voters – want Congress and the administration to work together to improve child care and preschool and make it more affordable for parents.”

The results of the poll clearly demonstrate an understanding among the public that quality programs and services support child development and school-readiness.

  • 89% support making early education and child care more affordable for working families to give children a strong start.
  • 86% support helping states and local communities build better preschool services for parents and making them more accessible to children from low- and middle-income families.
  • 78% support providing voluntary home visiting and parent education programs that help first-time parents support their child’s early learning, health, and emotional development.
  • 78% support making high-quality learning programs for infants and toddlers to give them a strong start on developing school-ready knowledge and social skills.

The survey goes beyond linking early childhood to school readiness by highlighting one of the forward-thinking positions Kansas Action for Children and other early childhood advocates promote: high-quality early childhood programs lead to a larger pool of highly skilled workers in the long-term. Investments in early childhood programs and services positively impact the workforce.

In Kansas, programs supported by the Children’s Initiatives Fund help improve the quality of early care and education while making those services more accessible for working Kansas families. And this year, the Kansas Legislature began phasing in the restoration of the state Child and Dependent Care Credit to help make the costs of early learning more affordable. While there is more work to do to make high-quality early learning opportunities a reality for all Kansas kids, it is clear that the public supports this issue.

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