Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 25, 2015) – A significant majority of voters in battleground states believe investing in early childhood education is critical to the future of the country, according to a new poll released today by Save the Children Action Network. The findings demonstrate that expansion of early childhood education is a concept that appeals to Republicans, Democrats and independents, including swing voters in key battleground states.
“The results of this poll prove that voters are looking for a president who prioritizes early childhood education,” said Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network. “We know that by age 5, a child’s brain is already 90 percent developed, yet we spend the vast majority of taxpayer dollars on K-12 education. All children deserve a strong start to life and an equal opportunity to succeed. This poll shows clearly that the American people—Republicans, Democrats and independents—understand the importance of early education and SCAN plans to work with voters to hold candidates accountable on this issue in 2016.”
The poll of 3,000 likely voters, conducted jointly by the Republican firm TargetPoint Consulting and the Democratic firm Greenberg, Quinlan & Rosner, is a series of statistically significant surveys in five 2016 battleground states: Colorado, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
According to the poll, the importance of early childhood education has neared unanimity, with an average of 90 percent saying the years zero to 5 are extremely or very important to learning, growth and development for young children. Other findings include:
- 63 percent of respondents said they believe public education should begin at age 4 and be offered to all kids. Support for publicly-funded pre-K exists across party lines, with 51 percent of core Republican voters saying they believe it should be offered to all children, 59 percent of independents and 80 percent of Democrats.
- 59 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who came out in favor of increasing access to early childhood education.
- Significant support exists for a number of innovative financing mechanisms that SCAN supports. Notably, 70 percent of respondents support making tax credits and savings accounts available to parents, similar to the way in which such mechanisms for higher education are available.
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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.