Meet Jo. Jo is a four-year-old who attends Educare—a high-quality early childhood education program for low-income families—and she’s pushing her limits every day by challenging her senses and learning more about the world around her through high-quality early childhood education. Unfortunately, less than half of low-income children have the programs that could dramatically improve their opportunities for a better future. Together, we can ensure every child who needs it has access to a high-quality education and help every child succeed in their quest to grow stronger.

Now is the time.

The First Five Years Fund has a plan to leverage public support for early childhood education into greater federal investments in and expansion of high-quality early learning from birth through age five. Together, we can ensure that every child who needs it can participate in a high-quality program—one that gives them a strong start in life, the opportunity to do well in school and succeed in the future.

The solution is in our reach.

Our plan provides recommendations for policy solutions that take us from where we are to where America needs to be. It’s a starting point for conversations between a new administration and Congress to strengthen existing programs while establishing a well-financed continuum of high-quality education and care from birth through age five.

Quality early childhood education for children from low-income families is one of the best ways to promote upward mobility that pays off for everyone. Every child needs high-quality early childhood development from birth through age five, but low-income children are the least likely to get it. Parental education, early learning for infants and toddlers, quality child care and preschool make up the continuum of resources that produce better education, health, social and economic outcomes.

Access to quality early childhood supports working families.

Those who experience quality early care and learning programs, like Jo, have better education, health, social, and economic outcomes in life—increasing their productivity and reducing the need for expensive social spending on remediation in education, social services, and incarceration later in life. Access to this care is an economic necessity for working families—it provides families with better job stability and overall economic security. The impact of the first five years is critical and has been studied for decades. The results are clear—quality early learning and care:

  • Prepare children to succeed in school, earn higher wages and live healthier lives;
  • Make working families more economically secure; and,
  • Save taxpayers money.

We have a plan for supporting working families and ensuring more children have access to essential quality early learning options.

Get it.

  • Find our roadmap to make sure every child has access to high-quality early childhood education here.
  • Share the materials and help every child succeed in their quest to grow stronger.