49% of children from middle class families in Virginia do NOT know their alphabet!!!

February 10, 2011

WOW!  Really?  I am completely appalled at this statistic.  Parents are not the only ones to blame.  Yes, parents NEED to read to their children every night, talk to them,  explain how things in their environment work and make sure their children attend high quality preschools.  But, parents can’t do this alone.

Didn’t Hillary Clinton say “it takes a village to raise a child?”  Well, I think it is time for the states to become more involved in Early Childhood Education.   This needs to be a priority for our state and local governments.  Why is it we try to fix education from the top down and not from the bottom up?  Quality early childhood programs have time and time again proved to improve the quality of life for millions of children, reduce crime, make the workforce of the future more productive, and strengthen the overall economy.  Not to mention early childhood education is much more economical than building prisons, rehabilitating drug abusers, and supporting a welfare system.  Based on the research compiled by Robert Lynch, he discovered long term findings of children who participated in quality early childhood programs:

• Higher levels of verbal, mathematical, and intellectual achievement

• Greater success in school, including less grade retention and higher graduation rates

• Higher employment and earnings

• Better health outcomes

• Less welfare dependency

• Lower rates of crime

• Greater government revenues and lower government expenditures

Given the consistent results of why a quality early childhood experience is necessary, I urge you to make sure this is a priority for your family by supporting schools that provide exceptional programs and support initiatives to increase funding for early childhood education.