Why Child Care?
Win Win Win Win
Making early childhood care and education affordable, accessible, and higher quality is a rare win-win-win-win policy with the largest return on investment (ROI) of any societal investment. The wins are (1) creating a greater likelihood of equitable kindergarten readiness; (2) allowing parents to focus on their careers; (3) giving early childhood educators, who are disproportionately women of color, more training and more pay; and (4) providing America with a better educated, emotionally prepared, and more productive workforce.
A Strong, Healthy Start
During the first five years of a child’s life, one million new brain connections form every second, laying a foundation for social-emotional development, learning, and skill-building. High-quality child care programs provide environments, experiences, and relationships that promote learning and development to ensure children have a strong start. With access to quality early education, preventative health screenings and services, and early interventions for developmental and social-emotional delays, all Connecticut children can be ready for kindergarten. Each will start school with an opportunity to build on their skills, and excel.
With sufficient investment in high-quality early learning programs, our children are more likely to graduate high school, have a good job, earn higher wages, stay out of prison, and stay free of chronic conditions. Every dollar invested in high-quality early learning and health yields as much as $13 in savings. Additional taxes paid by parents who can work full-time, and by their more successful children, can cover the cost of early childhood education.
The pandemic has made it clear how vital quality childcare is for the health of our economy: it is both a public good and an important part of our infrastructure. We cannot go back to a “normal” that worked for so few of our families. It may take years, but now is the time to start creating a new normal!