President Obama Announces Over $1 Billion Dollars in Early Education Investments through Invest in US
Unprecedented public/private commitments will support high quality early childhood development
WASHINGTON – At the White House Summit on Early Education on Wednesday, President Barack Obama called on business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials and members of the public to invest in the expansion of early childhood opportunities for children across the country through Invest in US, a public awareness campaign launched in partnership with the First Five Years Fund and its philanthropic partners.
Already, dozens of corporations, foundations and individuals have agreed to dedicate a greater ongoing percentage of their philanthropy to expanding high quality early childhood programs and research as a strategy for achieving better education, health, social and economic outcomes, with commitments currently totaling more than $333 million. President Obama also announced over $750 million in federal funding for early learning programs through the Preschool Development Grants and Early Head Start-Child Care (EHS-CC) Partnerships, totaling more than $1 billion in critical investments in early childhood education announced today.
Brain scientists, educators, economists, and public health experts agree that that the foundation for success begins during pregnancy and is built through age 5, before many children enter formal K-12 schooling. Those committing to Invest in US are building a better nation by helping create programs that build strong children.
“These champions of early childhood education are contributing toward new efforts across the country that will bring more children a critical opportunity for success in school and in life,” said Kris Perry, the executive director of the First Five Years Fund, an establishing partner of the campaign. “But there’s still too many children in America that enter school not ready to learn, including more than half of disadvantaged children. That’s why government at all levels, business leaders, philanthropy and the early childhood community must come together and continue to make investments that give all kids a strong start. That’s what Invest in US is all about.”
Invest in US comes on the heels of growing public and private investment in early childhood development. It celebrates past efforts, provides visibility to current commitments and will live on to encourage greater federal, state, local and philanthropic funding and collaboration. In addition to the over $333 million in new private funding, 22 communities and states have committed to making early childhood programs a policy priority, and more than 40 advocacy organizations have announced their ongoing support of the campaign.
“For more than a decade, the Pritzker Children’s Initiative has worked to give the country’s most vulnerable children from birth to age 3 and their families high quality early childhood development opportunities. We believe it is critical to significantly expand that support,” said businessman J.B. Pritzker, who announced an increased commitment of $25 million over five years, above and beyond their current investments. “The Invest in US challenge will advance the availability of high quality evidence-based early childhood programs and research from birth to age five, leading to higher achievement, better health, a skilled workforce, increased wages and reduced social spending.”
Since President Obama’s initial call to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America in his 2013 State of the Union Address, the President has proposed a series of new investments in early childhood education, and more than 30 states and cities have established new programs or expanded access to preschool. In his 2014 State of the Union Address, the President told the nation that he would bring together elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists to galvanize efforts and help more children access the high-quality early childhood education they need. Invest in US is the realization of that call.
A full list of commitments announced Wednesday can be found at http://investinus.org/.
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About Invest in US
Invest in US is a challenge to business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, public officials and the public to build a better nation through high-quality early childhood programs for children from birth to age five. When we invest in them, we invest in us.
About the First Five Years Fund
The First Five Years Fund helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. FFYF provides knowledge, data, and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all. ffyf.org