Why this focus is important
Decades of research by economists, neuroscientists, and educators prove that investments in high quality early learning in the first five years of a child’s life result in long-term gains for students and produce significant savings for governments, employers, communities, and taxpayers. If we want to reduce wasteful spending, improve outcomes for generations, fix our talent pipeline, strengthen our schools and communities, and produce long-term, meaningful savings to taxpayers, we have to invest in quality early learning opportunities for all of our children.
Data and Anecdotal Information related to Readiness for Elementary School:
- 85% of a child’s capacity for learning is determined by age 5.
- Indiana is one of ten states that does not fully fund preschool. Indiana does not fully fund all-day kindergarten.
- 48% of kindergartners enter school unprepared.
- In Allen County, 30% of all 3rd graders failed reading I-STEP+ in 2011.
- 74% of kids who can’t read at grade level by 3rd grade will never catch up.
- In Indiana, only about half (51.7%) of children ages 0-5 are read to every day by their family.
- In 2012, one out of four children entered kindergarten in our region requiring intensive learning support.
- 61% of low-income kids have no books at home.
- Children who have participated in high-quality pre-Kindergarten programs demonstrate higher math and reading scores, stronger learning skills, increased creativity, better school attendance, improved health, and greater involvement by parents in elementary school.
- High quality early childhood education is a good economic investment. Research shows that for every government dollar invested in high-quality, comprehensive early care and education, society saves $7.16 in welfare, special education, and criminal justice costs