Building the case for early education – share the facts, tell your story
In order for our leaders to support investment in quality early education, they need to understand its value. You can help build the case for early education through our Building Blocks action alerts. Each alert provides important research, data, and the latest results of Pennsylvania’s early education programs, as well as tips on how you can add your own personal experience and local examples for the most impact. You can share this information with a number of important leaders in your community:
- Share with school principals and other school leaders to reinforce that quality early education helps kindergartners enter school ready to learn and building partnerships with local early learning programs will improve children’s school readiness
- Share with community leaders and county officials to help them consider access to quality early education as they identify priorities for your local communities, such as planning new business centers (employees need access to early childhood programs) or zoning.
- Share with local business leaders to help them understand that quality early education keeps their employees productive and prepares their future employees to fill their jobs.
- Share with state and federal legislators so they can understand why quality early education needs to be a priority issue for them.
Building Block #1: Early education is crucial to healthy brain development
- Because the first five years have such as impact on brain development, we cannot afford to lose even one year of a child’s early education.
- Since 2003, classroom quality scores on the Environment Rating Scale have continued to rise, showing a positive trend of increasing quality in Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Keystone STARS and Head Start classrooms.
Building Block #3: Early education keeps our economy going today
- Early education keeps parents working and provides greater economic stimulus that any other sector in Pennsylvania.
Building Block #4: Early education teachers continue to increase their education
- Teacher quality is critical to the success of an early learning program. Qualified teachers keep children engaged, promote positive development, address concerns, and work with parents to create learning experiences both in school and at home.
Building Block #5: Quality early education levels the playing field for at-risk kids
- Forty years of research shows that children affected by risk factors such as poverty, low education level of the mother, and poorly performing schools can make significant gains and overcome these risks for failing in school when they participate in quality early education.
Building Block #6: Workforce Development depends early education
- The skills that employers want in a high quality workforce, reading, math, teambuilding and creativity, are formed in the early years. If we want a quality workforce in Pennsylvania, we have to invest in early education.
- 2012-2013 child outcomes for Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Keystone STARS 3&4, and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program show children are progressing throughout the program year and are coming to school ready to learn
Building Block #8: Pennsylvania’s families demand access to early education programs
- Thousands of eligible families are interested in participating in Pennsylvania’s early education programs but are waiting for services
Building Block #9: Pennsylvania’s family support programs put parents, children, on right track
- Family involvement is a vital part of a child’s early learning. All of Pennsylvania’s early education programs (Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts, Keystone STARS, Early Intervention, Nurse-Family Partnership, Parent-Child Home Program, and Head Start Supplemental) include requirements to include family members in their child’s learning and in the program’s activities.