Early Childhood Education: A Year in Review

Early Childhood Education: A Year in Review

This year was an encouraging one for those who are passionate about early childhood education. We made great strides in 2013 rallying thought leaders, business people and political influencers around the importance of high quality early education. We’ve sparked the conversation, noting that this is not just an education issue, but also a business and financial crisis for our nation. Leading researchers and economists agree that if we don’t stimulate Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts® in young children during their first five years of life, the United States will fall behind as a global competitor.

Advocacy

As The Leader in Educational Childcare®, Primrose is excited to see our nation’s leaders focusing on the importance of early childhood education. Legislation was announced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that proposed expanded access to high quality education programs for children under five years old. As the details of various bills are being developed, we will continue to watch proposed legislation closely, advocate where necessary and participate where we can in order to ensure that our country offers the highest quality early education to all children. We also want to ensure collective action using all resources, including public and private collaboration to meet our goals.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend the 2013 National Business Summit on Early Childhood Investment, joining other education experts and business leaders on a mission to elevate the dialogue about early childhood education. I’ve encouraged ReadyNation to develop a database of best practices that will make it easier for local states and municipalities to activate change in their communities, and I look forward to joining other business leaders to raise funding for this important national resource in 2014.

Additionally, a number of high-profile non-profits are making family and childhood literacy their mission and Primrose is honored to partner with Reach Out and Read and Save the Children, helping them advance their work in communities across the country.

Research

We continue to follow research that highlights the importance of early childhood development. The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University created a video about the science of childhood neglect, which provides a six-minute overview of the developmental problems that result from neglecting a young child – effectively denying him access to the necessary “heart nurturing” adult interactions involved in early education.

Based on the principles of economics professor James Heckman, we know that early education is a smart investment. Heckman provides research, data and lectures to promote the value of investing in early childhood development. Heckman’s research serves as a great resource for early childhood advocacy, and will continue to impact the way we invest in early childhood education.

As research continues to show that the United States is falling behind on school readiness and standardized test scores, as well as teamwork, creative and critical thinking, and character skills, educators and business leaders are becoming more worried about America’s future workforce. We expect the debate to continue as our education experts search for ongoing solutions to these important education issues facing our nation.

As one of the preeminent early childhood education brands, we will continue to lend our time and resources to advance the opportunities for all of America’s children. The research shows that we need to work collectively as citizens, businesses, politicians and caregivers to change the current state of early childhood in America. With your help, we can continue the dialogue and the positive momentum in 2014. I urge you to take these early education advocacy tools provided by ReadyNation and make the case to business leaders, advocates and policy makers in your community to use early childhood investments as a means of providing a strong foundation for all of America’s children, the next generation of the American workforce.

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