SCAN Testifies in Strong Support of New Hampshire’s Full-Day Kindergarten Bill

‘Full-day kindergarten is an investment in the future of our children, our economy and our state.’

Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823

Concord, NH (January 12, 2017)Lindsay Hanson, Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) Government Relations Manager for New Hampshire, testified this afternoon at the New Hampshire House Education Committee’s hearing on HB 155. Below is her testimony.

“Chairman Ladd and Honorable Members of the Committee, My name is Lindsay Hanson, and I am the New Hampshire Government Relations Manager for Save the Children Action Network, an advocacy organization that is working here in New Hampshire and across the nation to mobilize all Americans to invest in early childhood. I am here today to testify in strong support of HB 155-FN and encourage the committee to recommend Ought to Pass.

“Offering adequacy funding for full-day kindergarten has solid bipartisan support. Governor Sununu expressed support for funding full-day kindergarten programs during his campaign and recent polling commissioned by Save the Children Action Network in October 2016 shows about 70 percent of Granite State voters agree that funding full-day kindergarten should be a major budget priority.

“A full day of learning offers several social, emotional and intellectual benefits to kindergarteners. They have more time to focus on activities, to reflect on what they have done and to transition between tasks. If children are taught by quality teachers using an age-appropriate curriculum in small sized classes, they can take full advantage of the additional learning time that a full day allows.

“Further, research demonstrates that children adjust well to the full-day format. While some parents worry that full-day kindergarten is too much for kids, research shows that 5-year-olds are more than ready for a longer day. They also do better in a setting that allows them time to learn and explore activities in depth.

“In New Hampshire and across the country, early childhood programs such as high-quality pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten have been shown to result in lasting gains in academic achievement, increased graduation rates and reduced crime rates. Specifically, full-day kindergarten closes achievement gaps between young children from minority and low-income families and their peers. By providing a solid foundation of learning to children from all backgrounds, full-day kindergarten programs ensure all students’ academic, social and emotional success.

“The type of environment and the quality of interaction to which children are exposed in the first five years of life greatly influence the outcomes of their adult lives. In fact, a recent report from a Nobel Prize-winning economist in December 2016 shows an annual rate of return on investments in early childhood development for many children can be $13 for every $1 invested due to improved outcomes in education, health, sociability, economic productivity and reduced crime.

“Save the Children Action Network hopes you will join us in supporting HB 155-FN because investing in full-day kindergarten is an investment in the future of our children, our economy and our state.”

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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. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.