The above-linked article discusses new details from President Obama’s recent State of the Union Address. During the Address, the President called on Congress to expand high-quality early learning opportunities to low- and moderate-income children. Later in the week, Obama sketched more of the plan’s details by including a proposal that emphasizes the birth-through-five continuum by way of partnerships between Early Head Start and child care providers. He stated that the plan contains a federally-funded competition to design well-aligned early learning systems as well as an expanded federal evidence-based home visiting program.
The authors of the article state “It is not often that early learning takes center stage in the national debate.” How true this is! This shouldn’t be the case, since so many of society’s ills and challenges could be diminished and alleviated if we simply spent more time, energy and resources on children right from the start. The truth is that once you invest in a child from birth to 3, much of the work is essentially done. All the love, skills, and learning you give a child from birth to 3 pays off for the rest of his life. Sure there will be “the un-expecteds” along the way, such as learning challenges or environmental factors that can’t be controlled that have an affect on development. But, waiting until a child is over the age of 3 to do the work that needed to be done before age 3 will never be the solution to long-term success in school and life for a child.