President Obama Highlights Pre-K in State of the Union Address

Media Contact: Brendan Daly (202.794.1580)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2016) – Save the Children Action Network President Mark Shriver released the following statement today on President Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday night.

“I would like to thank President Obama for continuing to invest in kids and early childhood education. I am encouraged that he brought up the critical need for expanded access to pre-K during his final State of the Union address. We know that 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed by the time they turn 5, yet too many kids do not have access to the high-quality early learning programs they need to thrive.

“The benefits of quality early education are clear. During the first five years of life, a child develops many of the skills necessary to become successful. During these years, they build the foundation for reading, math, science and academics, as well as character skills and social and emotional growth.

“Early learning programs even benefit a state’s bottom line. In fact, leading economists agree there is a return of $7 or more for every $1 invested in high-quality early childhood education.”

During his speech, Obama said, “The bipartisan reform of No Child Left Behind was an important start, and together, we’ve increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates to new highs, and boosted graduates in fields like engineering. In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by providing pre-K for all…”

Save the Children Action Network now looks forward to the release next month of the President’s fiscal year 2017 budget, and has called for him to commit to investments in domestic and international programs that directly improve the lives of children.

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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.