The First Five Years Fund is proud to join U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, actor and Save the Children Artist Ambassador Jennifer Garner, America’s Promise Alliance chair of the board Alma Powell, children’s musician Laurie Berkner, award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien and more than a dozen national organizations to “Rally4Babies” today and demonstrate ongoing national support for investing in children starting at birth.
We applaud our partner organizations in their efforts to rally Americans around early learning policies that recognize that learning begins at birth, and that our investments in children should as well.
Investing in high-quality learning and care for infants and toddlers especially during the first three years of life – when 700 new connections between neurons in the brain are formed every second – will create better education, health and economic outcomes not just for more children and their families, but for all Americans. Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has also shown that investing in high-quality early childhood programs for vulnerable children from birth to five provides the greatest returns on investment, with a 7-10 percent return—per child, per year—through improved education, health and social outcomes and a reduced need for government spending.
Take part in today’s virtual rally and sign the rally petition to send Congress and the Obama administration a clear message: support expanded investments in early childhood education so that every baby, toddler and young child can be on the path to do well in school, career and life. Expanding access to quality early childhood education is the best investment we can make to grow a strong future for our country.