Why Investments in Early Childhood Work

We work on public policy at the national, state and local levels to give all young children high-quality early childhood experiences.

To the Ounce of Prevention Fund, the “achievement gap” is not a metaphor. It is a social outcome that we can see and measure.

Research shows that the achievement gap appears long before children reach kindergarten – in fact it can become apparent by 18 months of age. The good news is that we know early learning programs significantly narrow this achievement gap.

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

Early childhood programs are the most cost-effective way to ensure the healthy development of children in poverty and offer the greatest returns to society.

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