The Rising Profile of Early Childhood Education

In January's State of the Union address, President Obama spoke decisively about the need for high quality early education throughout the United States. Much was made of President Obama’s remarks during the 2013 State of the Union address, where he first brought up his prioritized interest in the growth of early childhood education, going to say that: 

“In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children…studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind.”

Obama continued his call for greater investment in early childhood education in his most recent State of the Union address, stating that:

“Research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high-quality early education. Last year, I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every 4-year-old. And as a parent as well as a president, I repeat that request tonight.”

Obama went on to talk about his plans to make greater investments in quality pre-K and create a coalition of elected officials, business leaders, and philanthropists to work towards giving children a quality early childhood education, regardless of their economic background. 

Hillary Clinton also threw her support behind early childhood education earlier this month, congratulating New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s for putting “early childhood education at the top of the city’s agenda” at a meeting with Hispanic parents and children in East Harlem. The former Secretary of State has been a long time supporter of early childhood education and her family’s foundation has been investing in the growth of early childhood education programs.

Clinton spoke of the hope it gives her to see the rising profile of early education, saying that:

“As somebody who has worked on this for a very long time – I hate to think how long – it is exciting to see everybody from the mayor to Gov. Cuomo to President Obama and literally people across the country taking on this important issue because we know that an investment in the early years is really the best investment we can make in our children’s future.”

At ICRI we’re pleased to see the growing emphasis being placed on early childhood education at a national and even global level. No matter where a child is born they should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential, and this starts with a quality early education.