Not the Usual Suspects

In the past month, two organizations not typically associated with early education – the College Board and The Society for Human Resource Management – have come out with reports acknowledging the benefits of quality early childhood education and calling for more public investment in programs that serve young children.

The College Board recommends that “states provide a program of voluntary high-quality, preschool education, universally available to 3- and 4-year-old children from families at or below 200 percent of the poverty line” as a means of improving college graduation rates. (Read more in today’s piece in USA Today.)

 

The report, The College Completion Agenda, points to the fact that research suggests early childhood education programs improve school readiness levels for children from low-income families, and that children from low-income are less likely to have access to high-quality preschool programs than higher-income families.

 

The College Completion Agenda includes a progress report that illustrates the nation’s movement toward or away from the recommendations, which is accompanied by a state policy guide that provides examples of state policies that support preschool educationand lists recommended action items for states interested in adopting the College Board’s recommendation.

 

And in June, the Society for Human Resource Managementcalled for more investments in early childhood programs to ensure a well-educated, globally competitive workforce in the future. SHRM produced the brief, “Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Future,” in conjunction with The Partnership for America’s Economic Success, which has been joined by other national business organizations like the Manufacturing Institute and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce.   (Hat tip to Birth to Thrive Online.)

 

Early Ed Watch is glad to see organizations that focus on higher education and workforce issues recognize the importance of all children getting the right educational start.

Author:

Laura Bornfreund is director of early & elementary education policy with the Education Policy program and co-director of the Family Centered Social Policy program at New America. She leads a team of writers and analysts working on new ideas for improving children’s birth-through-third grade learning experiences.