Summarizes discussions from a March 2009 forum on the policies needed to provide early childhood education for all children in order to prepare them for the K-12 system and beyond, as well as current initiatives and lessons learned.
- Successful Strategy: For every dollar spent on school readiness programs, the return is ten-fold in the form of reduced welfare costs, fewer health care costs, and less crime.
- Successful Strategy: Children in early childhood programs are more likely to score higher in reading and math, graduate from high school and attend college, hold a job and earn more while doing it.
- Observation: Kindergarten through third grade teachers should be required to take courses in child development, review standards to make sure there are opportunities to collaborate, and learn from early childhood providers how to engage parents and honor multiculturalism.
- Observation: If early learning is not overhauled and aligned with elementary school, educators will be unable to improve fourth-grade reading proficiency, increase high school and college graduation rates, or close the achievement gap.