As an early childhood advocate, you have a chance to educate elected officials, community leaders, the media and other stakeholders about the benefits of investing in high-quality early learning programs.
You can use the following talking points in your meetings and discussions. For more tips on communicating with elected officials, read our Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit.
High-quality early education programs are proven to:
- Help children enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed in school
- Increase high-school graduation rates and college attendance
- Reduce teen pregnancy rates, crime, and other social problems
- Reduce long-term social costs for special education, child welfare, and public assistance
The achievement gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers is apparent by 18 months of age.
- The good news is that we know that early learning programs significantly narrow this achievement gap.
- In Illinois, high-quality early childhood programs include state-funded Preschool for All and Home Visitation, federally funded Early Head Start and Head Start, and programs that provide early screening and treatment of developmental delays.
High-quality early childhood investments provide both short- and long-term economic benefits.
- They are the most effective investments the government can make, even during difficult fiscal times.
- Not investing in at-risk children through early childhood programs poses a profound threat to the future of our economy.
- Fast forward 20 years without adequate investments in early childhood service, and we are left with a less educated workforce that has a lower earning potential, is making fewer tax contributions, and is creating a greater need for spending on preventable social services.
- While we focus on balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, we must recognize that early childhood programs are cost-effective investments that are critical to the country and state’s continuing economic growth.