The First Five Years Fund makes sure those in cribs and high chairs have a seat at the table when decisions are made about their future and the nation’s. We make sure federal policymakers know that education starts at birth and that the most critical time to develop human potential and future productivity is in the first five years of a child’s life. We work with policymakers, educators, and advocates to help America make efficient and effective investments in early childhood development that provide the greatest economic return for society.
In order to drive efficient investments that pay dividends for children and society, the First Five Years Fund focuses on increased support for early learning activities that are:
- Integrated from birth to age five, with special focus on infants and toddlers;
- High-quality and comprehensive in scope; and
- Serving at-risk children and families.
High-quality early learning is one of the smartest public investments available. Children shouldn’t be playing catch-up when they enter kindergarten, and yet so many do. If we want greater school success and a better-skilled workforce, we need to ensure the proper development of our most at-risk children at these earliest ages. Our goal is to support high-quality learning programs such as Early Head Start and preschool so that even the most vulnerable children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and with the foundational skills to succeed.