The Case for Kindergarten Readiness

Why early childhood education?  

Early childhood education is the key to long-term academic and life success with 90% of brain development occurring in the first five years of life. In these early years, children are learning how to intrepret the world. What happens during this critical timeframe is the strongest predictor of whether a child will enter school ready to learn and whether they will achieve future success in primary school, college, career and life.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce, business-minded investors should support efforts to enhance early childhood education because:

  • High-quality pre–K programs for three- and four-year-olds can have a significant impact on all children, but especially those from low-income families.
  • Meaningful investments in quality early learning programs for younger children have lasting effects.
  • They can reduce the costs of expensive interventions in school and long into adulthood while also enhancing economic growth.
  • A high-quality early childhood education can help break the cycle of poverty.
  • Better prepared students mean a stronger, healthier, more productive future workforce.

Further, economist Ryan Lynch estimates that over time, the overall benefit-cost ratio for statewide investments in early childhood is 9.8 to one with approximately $943 million saved in crime reduction and $2 billion in wages and benefits increases (Institute for Child Success 2008). ReadyNation, “a national business partnership for early childhood and economic success,” predicts a similar outcome with a 10 to one return on investment.