Early Childhood Education got a new vote of support from the nation’s business leaders last night, who reminded Congress that pre-K education is vital to the nation’s economic future.

A group of 120 business leaders from across the country sent a letter to the chairs of the Congressional Budget conference committee urging them make a wise investment in our economy by increasing funding for early childhood education. 

The letter reinforces the widespread private sector support for early learning. The signees jointly state: “A strong, sustainable economy hinges on a workforce that is knowledgeable, smart, persistent, and capable of working in teams to solve complex problems, earning higher wages, and moving their families ahead through opportunity and enterprise. That is why we cannot close our budget deficit until we close our skills deficit.”   

Past budget negotiations have missed critical opportunities to invest in quality early learning for disadvantaged children, despite the data that shows substantial return on investment for children, families, states and the nation.

Newly released data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Kids Count shows  that far too many children in need go unserved – carrying into school and life a crushing deficit in skills that can translate into devastating social costs.  That’s why these leaders have called for a “federal investment that helps states and communities continue their work to provide innovation, access and outcomes that pay off for everyone.”

You can download the full text of the letter here and sign our petition urging Congress to reduce the skills deficit and Grow America Stronger here. This effort was organized by a group of national early childhood organizations, includingFFYF, ReadyNation, and America’s Edge.