Washington, D.C. – In an otherwise polarized election, 90 percent of voters – including 78 percent of Trump supporters and 97 percent of Clinton supporters – agree that Congress and the next president must make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable to low- and middle-income families. The poll released today by the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) found that by a three-to-one margin, voters prefer the next president be someone who focuses on solutions to the country’s problems, and they’ve identified investment in early childhood education as an important solution. Key voter groups want the federal government to help states and local communities improve access to quality early childhood education – this includes 85 percent of Hispanics, 79 percent of suburban women, 65 percent of moderate/liberal Republicans, and 58 percent of Republican women.
“Early childhood education isn’t a partisan issue, and today’s poll demonstrates that Americans of all political stripes are united in their demands to make quality early childhood education more accessible and affordable,” said Kris Perry, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund. “Candidates looking to connect with voters should be hearing loud and clear that Americans see a need for quality early learning, ranking it a top priority alongside education broadly and good-paying jobs.”
Over two-thirds of poll respondents believe children do not start kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need, driven in part by a lack of affordable and successful early childhood education programs. Americans also want to rethink our education priorities, with the majority calling for more or equal investment in early education over college.
“This poll gives Washington leaders a definitive mandate to ensure that every child has a strong start in life,” Perry said. “We now need to provide communities with the resources to make high-quality programs affordable and accessible at a local level.”
Additional findings from the poll are highlighted below:
- Voters want America’s leaders to prioritize early education: 72 percent say that ages one to five are the most important for learning.
- A majority of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents want to invest in multiple education opportunities, including home visiting, early learning programs, and preschool services.
- Early childhood education is a bipartisan issue. In fact, key swing state voters across the country support making investments in early childhood programs.
The poll was commissioned by the First Five Years Fund in conjunction with a bipartisan polling team of Public Opinion Strategies (R) and Hart Research (D). The sample was distributed proportionately throughout the country and is demographically representative of the electorate.
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. http://www.ffyf.org