City’s preschool dollars will pay off in long term

As a mental health therapist working with Albuquerque’s young children and families, I have the privilege of working closely with parents/caregivers to give their child the best start to life. But it takes a village. Many of our parents return to work in order to provide for their families and contribute to our great city, so it is imperative that all families have access to high-quality and affordable early childhood education.

That’s why I want to thank the Albuquerque City Council for boosting funding for the city’s early childhood development programs for children ages 0 to 5. Not many people know that the city of Albuquerque is one of the largest providers of high-quality, comprehensive, integrated early childhood programs in New Mexico.

By the time a child turns 5, the brain is nearly fully developed.

Scientific studies show that children who get high-quality education early in life are more likely to graduate high school, go to college and live healthier, more productive lives, with reduced rates of criminal behavior, incarceration, unemployment and chronic health issues. Local, state and federal investments in early childhood education are investments in job creation, crime prevention, disease prevention and overall quality of life, with an incomparable 13% return on investment.

I’ve seen the impact early learning can have on kids, and I know the investment is worth it. If more families in Albuquerque can access highquality childcare, we will all have the privilege of seeing Albuquerque reach its highest potential and witnessing the benefits for years to come.

DYLAN DRUSEDUM
Albuquerque

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