The First Five Years Fund has conducted an analysis that consolidates and synthesizes the findings of our years of publicly available research with that of other national and state polls – some of which have never been released publicly.
Beginning in 2013, FFYF’s bipartisan national polling has served as a trusted benchmark of voter support for quality early childhood education (ECE). Year after year, the annual findings convey a consistent and growing desire among Americans across the political spectrum for innovation and investment in programs and opportunities that support the care and education of children from birth through age five—particularly those from low-income families.
FFYF’s evidence does not stand alone. Many others conduct polling on this issue, testing important concepts that show Americans of all stripes are ready for action on early learning. With a steady release of new and diverse research findings, the public has access to informative and timely opinion data at its disposal. As a result, we and our partners have an evidence-based vision of where Americans stand on investing in high-quality ECE, and where policymakers can make stronger connections with their constituents’ priorities. This arsenal of individual polls paints an even brighter picture when studied together as a collective body of research.
Our analysis of this aggregate survey data found that national polling over the last decade shows quality early childhood education is a top priority issue for Americans of every political persuasion. They know the importance of early childhood education starting from birth, as well as the importance of program quality and parent engagement. They know what quality programs are, want them, and say they are too hard to find – and even harder to afford. And they worry we are not doing enough to give children a strong start and prepare them for success in school and life.
Early learning is a truly unique opportunity-issue for policymakers today—particularly given the extreme partisanship dominating the political arena—because Americans see it as the starting point for enabling individual opportunity and achievement that build the society all Americans want. And the polling backs that up.