Miami, FL – A bipartisan poll released today by the United Way of Miami-Dade and the First Five Years Fund (FFYF) shows a strong majority of Florida voters — regardless of party — support state early learning initiatives and are willing to make a significant investment in high-quality care and education for our youngest children.

“Today’s poll is strong evidence that early learning is a bipartisan priority for Florida citizens,” said Jessica Scher, Senior Director of Public Policy at United Way of Miami-Dade. “When it comes to early learning opportunities, Floridians clearly believe their children deserve high standards.”

In fact, a large majority of Florida voters believe strong state standards and required training for all early care providers are already in place, when they are not.

Seventy percent of voters in Florida recognize that birth to age five is the most important time for developing a child’s capacity to learn, and voiced their willingness to make an $85 million investment in quality early learning opportunities. Three out of four voters support a federal plan that helps state and local communities provide greater access to quality early childhood education.

“Florida voters want us to invest in early education because it is the most critical time for a child’s development,” said Kris Perry, Executive Director of First Five Years Fund. “This poll is further evidence that early education is a bipartisan issue on which voters want action.”

Additional findings from the poll are highlighted below:

  • Voters prioritize making sure children get a strong start in life through early education over reducing the tax burden.
  • Eighty-seven percent of voters want the state to invest in standards, training and classroom resources so early childhood educators can ensure each child has a strong start in reading and school.
  • Support for doing more to ensure children begin kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need has increased 15 percent since 2014.

The poll was commissioned by 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 state 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.

For further information, please contact:
United Way of Miami-Dade: Jessica Scher, 305-322-6143
First Five Years Fund: Stratton Kirton, 202-527-4837