By age 5, a child’s brain is already 90 percent developed, yet two out of five American children are not enrolled in preschool. Investments in high-quality early learning programs lay the foundation for success in school, career and life. It’s unacceptable that so many children don’t have access to early education programs needed to thrive.
Congress is starting work on the federal budget for 2017. As members debate which programs to fund and which to cut, we need to raise our voices on behalf of our children. Early education programs like Head Start help more than a million children start kindergarten ready to succeed. Programs like that are too crucial to risk funding cuts. Lawmakers should invest more funding in Head Start and other essential early learning programs, such as Early Head Start, Child Care Development Block Grants and Preschool Development Grants.
The environment and the quality of interaction children are exposed to during the first five years of life significantly influence the outcomes of their adult lives. That’s why I urge Sen. Patty Murray to prioritize our kids and invest in crucial early learning programs.