Ralph Alswang Photographer www.ralphphoto.com 202-487-5025
FFYF Executive Director Kris Perry (far right) at the White House Summit on Early Education.

Last week was an amazing turning point for high-quality early childhood development. FFYF had the honor of participating in the White House Summit for Early Learning on Wednesday, where President Obama launched Invest in US, a new national challenge to business leaders, philanthropists, elected officials and members of the public to help expand early childhood opportunities for millions of children.

It’s an incredible inspiration to see foundations, corporations and individual donors commit to large and larger investments in early education. We have already received private sector pledges to Invest in US of $333 million for programs and research. When you add that to the more than $750 million in federal Preschool Development Grants and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships awarded by President Obama on Wednesday, that’s over $1 billion to help young children and families.

There is widespread recognition that every child in this country needs access to quality early childhood development opportunities that will prepare them for success in school and in life. The Invest in US challenge will help make this a reality for more children in need. But no one effort can make sure each child has access to high quality early childhood programs. It will take a sustained effort and many billions of dollars more to make it a reality. We see Invest in US not as a one-day event, but the beginning of a national movement rooted in state and local investments that create demand for the federal government to deliver the funding necessary to support innovation, access and results.

If you haven’t already, visit InvestInUS.org to see a full list of commitments, make your organization’s commitment, share videos on the value of early childhood programs, and pledge your personal support to building a better nation through early childhood education. When we invest in them, we invest in us.