Two compelling new studies (“A Nobel Prize winner says public preschool programs should start at birth” and “Expensive Problems: Study Links Early Childhood Brains to High Public Costs In Mid-Life”) shed light on the long-term benefits of quality early learning (beginning at birth) and further support our strategic focus here at the Bainum Family Foundation. By analyzing the costs of these programs and the undeniable benefits — not just to the children and their families but to society as a whole — they provide a long-term perspective that should remain top-of-mind with present initiatives.
We often narrow our focus and exclusively view programs such as home visiting and Early Head Start in the short term — preparing low-income infants and toddlers for the next few phases of their academic careers (i.e., preschool and kindergarten). However, studies such as these cause us to raise our heads and remember the reality we all want — a thriving community made up of healthy, happy and productive citizens. In order to reach this reality, we must first properly equip and nurture these citizens in their first few years of life.
And that’s exactly what we’re doing, with the help of many committed partners, our work with the Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance and our initiatives designed to benefit infants and toddlers and their families.