Strengthening Head Start, public schools, community colleges,
our university system, career and technical training.
Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is one of the best investments our state and our communities
can make. Research shows that providing a high-quality education for children
before they turn five yields significant long-term benefits.
“High-quality early childhood education and full-day kindergarten are
fundamental to a student’s long term success and shouldn’t be determined
by their parents’ income… [It] is the right thing to do.” NEA President Dennis Van Roekel
Plus -- early childhood education makes good economic sense. In Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return, a high-ranking Federal Reserve Bank official pegs its return on investment at 12 percent, after inflation.
One well-known study, the HighScope Perry Preschool Study, found that individuals
who were enrolled in a quality preschool program ultimately earned up to $2,000
more per month than those who were not. Young people who were in preschool
programs are more likely to graduate from high school, to own homes, and
have longer marriages. Other studies, like The Abecedarian Project, show similar results. Children in quality preschool programs are less likely to repeat grades,
need special education, or get into future trouble with the law.
o Free, publicly funded, high-quality full-day kindergarten programs.
o Optional free, publicly funded, high-quality "universal" pre-kindergarten programs for all three- and four-year-old children whose parents choose to enroll them.
o Federal funds to make these programs economically feasible.
o Dedicated funding for early childhood education through the public schools.
Legislation for Early Childhood Education
The bipartisan Strong Start for America’s Children Act (S. 2452/H.R. 3461) would
promote high-quality learning opportunities for children from birth to age 5.
Legislation like this would help NH fund high-quality prekindergarten for 4-year olds
from low-income families; encourage NH to support prekindergarten for 4-year-olds
from moderate-income families; and encourage learning opportunities for even younger children — for example, through partnerships with Early Head Start programs.