It is possible to predict, with depressing accuracy, by age 5 who will graduate high school and college and who won’t.
—David Brooks, “The Biggest Issue,”
New York Times, July 28, 2008
Quality care and education develops tomorrow’s workforce in areas that matter in the global economy: critical thinking skills, language skills and the ability to work well with others. Investing in young children now means a smarter, more competitive workforce tomorrow.
Business leaders need:
• The best, most skilled employees now and in the future
• Employees who can solve complex problems and create new products
• Employees who can focus on their jobs and not be distracted because their children are in poor-quality care
• Communities that attract skilled employees and spend less tax money on expensive remedial programs
• 62% of Virginia’s students cannot read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.
• Less than 50% of the children in every state are proficient in math
• 20% of current workers are functionally illiterate
• The United States’ 15-year-olds ranked 25th out of 34 developed countries in math and 17th in science in 2009 (PISA).
• Over 50% of business leaders said they expect to have difficulty finding enough educated and skilled workers in the future.
• The Pentagon reports that 75% of all Americans ages 17-24 are unable to join the military, because of:
Inadequate Education: Approximately one out of four young Americans lacks a high school diploma, and many who do graduate lack the academic skills necessary for the military.
Criminality: One in ten American youth have at least one prior conviction for a felony or serious misdemeanor
Weight problems: 27 percent of young Americans are too overweight to join the military.
But with widespread quality early education and care…
Our economy could take a dramatic turn in the next 20 years.
• Studies have found a 95% correlation between children’s language interaction in the first two to three years of life and their reading level in 4th grade.
• Children who participate in early learning experiences will have fewer special education needs in later years and are more likely to graduate from high school
• Children who enter kindergarten ready to succeed will grow to be book-smart, team-capable, job-ready workers who help businesses prosper and communities thrive.
Help make children a national priority