A group of more than 500 researchers and academics from around the country released an open letter today urging policymakers on all levels of government to support greater investments in high-quality early childhood education. The letter, released in conjunction with the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), includes signatories such as James Heckman, W. Steven Barnett, Jeffrey Sachs, Linda Darling-Hammond and Susan Neuman.
The letter crystallizes an overwhelming body of research in human development, psychology, education, and economics, which details how high-quality early childhood education programs for children from birth to age five are one of the best economic bets we can make. Research shows that investing in these early years, particularly on behalf of disadvantaged children, produces impressive social and economic returns. Some of our country’s costliest fiscal challenges – grade repetition, special education, high school dropout, crime, and health costs – all are shown to be impacted significantly by evidence-based investments in early education. Quality early education can be brought to scale, with examples available across the country.
Read the letter here.