American Academy of Pediatrics: Quality Early Childhood Education Must Be a Priority

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organization of 66​,000 pediatricians from across America, released a new policy statement this week highlighting the importance of high-quality early childhood education, and urging lawmakers at the state and national level to expand access to high-quality ECE.

“Pediatricians have a role in promoting quality early education and child care for all children not only in the medical home but also at the community, state, and national levels,” writes Elaine A. Donoghue, the statement’s lead author and a member of the AAP’s Council on Early Childhood Executive Committee.

AAP’s policy statement highlights the importance of quality in early childhood education, and details the barriers many families face in accessing quality programs and opportunities. The statement also offers recommendations for pediatricians, and outlines key steps to improve quality, such as a greater state and federal investment in core birth through programs.

Overwhelming research shows that the earliest years of a child’s life – birth through age five – are critical for their physical, social, language, and cognitive development, all of which are essential to future success. Given pediatricians’ role in cognitive and early childhood development, pediatricians have the opportunity to promote the importance and need for high-quality early learning and care programs.

Unfortunately, too many children, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, do not have access to the high-quality early childhood education proven to offset the effects of poverty on their development.

 

Read the AAP’s full statement and report here