A group of more than 500 researchers and academics from around the country released an open letter today urging policymakers on all levels of government to support greater investments in high-quality early childhood education. The letter, released in conjunction with the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) and the First Five Years Fund (FFYF), includes founding signatory by Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor and associate director of EdPolicyWorks.
Other early childhood researchers at the Curry School of Education have signed the letter, including Dean Bob Pianta and professors, Chloe Gibbs, Jason Downer, Jessica Whittaker, Sara Rimm-Kaufman, Amanda Williford, Bridget Hamre, Jennifer LoCasale-Crouch, Eileen Merritt, Mable Kinzie, Tina Stanton-Chapman, and Claire Cameron.
The letter crystallizes an overwhelming body of research in human development, psychology, education, and economics, which details how high-quality early childhood education programs for children from birth to age five are one of the best economic bets that can be made. Research shows that investing in these early years, particularly on behalf of disadvantaged children, produces social and economic returns.
The researchers linked to this consensus letter are urging policymakers to make decisions based on the full body of scientific knowledge about early education and child development. They highlight some key research findings that strongly support investments in early childhood education:
- Quality early childhood education can reduce the achievement gap.
- Access to quality early childhood education is essential.
- Develop the whole child with quality programs.
- Quality programs include health and home.
- Quality programs can be brought to scale.
- Quality programs produce quality life outcomes.
- Quality early childhood education benefits children from diverse family backgrounds and circumstances.
- Investing in quality early childhood education pays off.
- Critics of greater investment ignore the full body of evidence.
Scholars or researchers can still add their signatures to this open letter and support investments in early childhood education.
This work has be highlighted by:
Daphna Bassok Batten Bicentennial Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Associate Director, EdPolicyWorksRobert C. Pianta Dean , Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education, Founding Director, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and LearningJason T. Downer Professor of Education, Program Area Director, Clinical and School Psychology, Director, CASTLJessica E. Whittaker Research Associate Professor, Director of Birth to Eight InitiativesSara Rimm-Kaufman Commonwealth Professor of EducationAmanda P. Williford Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education, Associate Director for Early Childhood Education, CASTLJennifer LoCasale-Crouch Research Associate Professor