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 interpret the world. What happens during this critical time-frame 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.