The National Governors Association (NGA) met this past weekend in Washington, D.C. for their annual Winter Meeting. One particular issue that took center stage, was early childhood education. NGA members including Governors Bentley (R-AL) and Inslee (D-WA), touted the importance of investing in the early years.

“Governors believe that early childhood education is the foundation of a successful life and, increasingly, a strong economy,” said Governor Bentley. “That is why we chose to devote the opening session of our 2017 Winter Meeting to this topic, to raise awareness about this crucial policy area with broad bipartisan support.” 

“Research shows that early childhood education programs have significant and lifelong benefits, including higher high school graduation rates,” said Governor Inslee. “When children have access to these programs, they develop the cognitive, physical and social competencies that serve as a foundation of success in kindergarten and beyond.”

Advocate and actress, Jennifer Garner, was also among many who stressed the importance of early childhood education with respect to breaking the cycle of poverty.

“In my home state of West Virginia, generational poverty remains a barrier to children’s academic success,” Garner said. “Early childhood education is absolutely critical to breaking that cycle of poverty, which is why I am deeply honored to be able to address the nation’s governors and advocate for this issue.”

As you can see, early childhood education is embraced by governors in red and blue states alike as an efficient and effective way to strengthen families, fight poverty, reduce inequality and social dependence and increase education, health and economic outcomes.