There’s been a lot of talk about preschool and the importance of investing in early childhood education. In his January 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called again for Congress to support high-quality preschool for every child in America. That same month, the California Legislature introduced the Kindergarten Readiness Act of 2014 (SB 837), a bill that would make one year of high-quality transitional kindergarten (TK) available to every 4-year-old in California.
These moves at the federal and state level recognize the reality that an achievement gap among children is present well before children first step through the kindergarten door, and support First 5 San Diego’s vision that funding a high-quality early education program is a wise investment.
The research is clear. Studies show that children who receive a high-quality early learning experience do better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school, get a college degree, stay out of crime, and become better contributing citizens to our community. Such investments benefit our economy, too. A study done by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman concluded that investing in a high-quality preschool program yields high economic returns; every $1 invested generates $4 to $11 of economic benefits.
We take immense pride in the work we’ve done to establish a high-quality early childhood education system in San Diego. Today, the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI) – a collaborative effort with the San Diego County Office of Education that provides free high-quality preschool to 3 and 4-year-olds throughout San Diego – flourishes in 17 communities. As we partner in the development of the County’s Live Well San Diego thriving strategy to promote a region where residents can enjoy the highest quality of life, we have a clear path forward for ensuring all children start school ready to learn and succeed.
First 5 San Diego