Early Childhood Education

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High-quality early education prepares children for a lifetime of learning. But so many kids — especially ones from lower-income families — never get that opportunity. 

That’s because the annual cost of child care is rising faster than inflation. In 2021, the average was $10,600 per child — more than in-state tuition in most states! 

What We’re Doing     

Save The Children Action Network supports kids and families by working towards policy change that ensures every child has access to high-quality early learning that is essential to closing the education gap. We support an essential industry by working towards significance and long-term investments in the early learning workforce that is well-trained and fairly compensated.

Together, we turn advocacy into policy wins so children can thrive.  

Rural Voters’ Views on Hunger, Child Care, and Early Education

On behalf of Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network, the bipartisan research team of New Bridge Strategy (R) and Hart Research (D) recently conducted research among rural and small town American voters across the country.

The study found that rural voters nationally are facing many challenges, with a significant focus on inflation and an increasing cost of living.

According to Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman, investing in early learning yields a 13% annual return through better academic, economic, health and social outcomes.

90% of brain development happens by age five.

1 in 5 Americans says child care is a barrier to their well-being. Some parents — most often women — are forced to stay home, leading to unemployment.

Over 50% of American families live in a “child care desert,” which means there aren’t enough child care slots to meet the need.

Over 6.4 million children 59% of children under age 5 are in a regular care arrangement with a nonparent provider.

The child care industry contributes approximately $100 billion to our economy, employing more than 1.5 million people. But many educators earn poverty level wages and struggle to support their own families.

Child Care Cliff 

The child care industry needs significant, long-term investments to give every child access to high-quality, affordable early learning and ensure the workforce is well-trained and fairly compensated 

Supporting an Essential Industry

The federal government provided significant additional funds to child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic that is set to expire in the coming year – with the potential for significant closures and increased costs for families. The child care industry and hard-working educators are in need of real support to ensure children get the high-quality care the deserve.

SCAN is working on the state and federal level to prevent this looming crisis.  


Rural Voters’ Views on Hunger, Child Care and Early Education

On behalf of Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network, the bipartisan research team at New Bridge Strategy (R) and Hart Research (D) polled rural and small-town voters across the U.S.  

Our study found that rural voters are facing challenges nationwide, especially when it comes to inflation and the rising cost of living — but we saw strong bipartisan support for policies that could help.