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Letter to the editor: Early childhood education results in long-term benefits

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 1:43 pm

The editorial board has published two editorials recently addressing preschool voucher legislation before Indiana’s General Assembly. In stating the case against the legislation, the editorials questioned the benefits of early childhood education.

While it is not uncommon to find studies that support nearly any point of view, several well-recognized and accepted long-term studies (involving groups of children over a period of 40 years) unequivocally conclude that quality early childhood education results in long-term benefits for children and the communities in which they live.

These benefits include better test scores, higher high school graduation rates, increased college attendance, more stable employment and higher levels of home ownership.

Some economists have estimated that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, society saves $60-$300, primarily due to lower utilization of social services. The case for quality early childhood education is not in doubt. The benefits are tangible and are being experienced by communities that make the investment.

Early Childhood Alliance is helping build better futures for the young children in this and surrounding communities by promoting and providing quality early childhood education. ECA focuses on school readiness by ensuring ready families, ready children, ready schools and ready communities.

This combination gives all children the opportunity to begin school in a way that gives them the best chance of succeeding and becoming productive citizens.

For more than 60 years, Early Childhood Alliance has been a key resource to help children and communities succeed through quality early childhood education. Learning begins at birth, not in kindergarten.

If we ignore the value of quality early childhood education, we lose out on the long-term investment that other communities have found to be vital to their societal and economic success.

Mark Bloom, president, board of directors, and Madeleine Baker, executive director Early Childhood Alliance