Letter to Congress: Early Learning Program Costs Far Outpaced by Big Benefits

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 22, 2015) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN), along with Save the Children and other coalition partners, are encouraging the House-Senate Conference Committee members to retain and strengthen key provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) that support early education.

A formal letter was sent to members of the Senate HELP Committee, House Education & Workforce Committee, and House and Senate Leadership last week.

“Early learning is an investment that pays off for children, families, and our nation,” SCAN and 23 other organizations wrote in the letter. “The costs of these programs are far outpaced by the short- and long-term benefits, which include a reduction in special education and grade retention, higher graduation rates, improved health, and an increased financial self-sufficiency in adulthood among those who participated in early learning programs as children. Because of all these benefits, economists, business leaders, pediatricians, law enforcement officials, and military leaders support early learning investments.”

The ESEA bill passed by the Senate in July includes several key early childhood education amendments, including a new funding model – Pay for Success – that only pays for programs that are successful and helps save taxpayers money. The amendment would allow states and local communities to utilize innovative public-private partnerships for early childhood education and offers a new system for a smarter and more effective use of tax dollars.

“These provisions recognize that high-quality early learning experiences create the strong foundation children need to succeed when they enter school. Congress should ensure that the final ESEA legislation incorporates these measures to bolster early learning and its role in our elementary and secondary education system,” the letter stated.

# # #

Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.