The overwhelming evidence shows that children who enter kindergarten behind are likely remain behind throughout their educational careers and beyond. These gaps in achievement are difficult and expensive to close with K-12 education alone—and can last a lifetime, particularly for disadvantaged children. We can help ensure children show up to kindergarten ready to learn by providing our youngest learners with options to access to high-quality early childhood. Investing in high-quality care in a child’s first five years ensures they develop the skills necessary for learning, decreasing the need to invest in costly interventions later in life. The research tells us:
- Children who enter kindergarten behind their peers academically are more likely to stay or fall behind. 
- High-quality early childhood education reduces attendees’ timidity and improves attentiveness. 
- High-quality early learning programs aimed at disadvantaged children help close the achievement gap, increasing IQ scores by up to 10 points. 
- Preschool reduced the percentage of children repeating a grade by 15%. 
- Preschool lowered the rate of special education placement by 10%. 
- Early learning and care increases high school graduation rates 14%. 
- Early language skills, the foundation for reading ability and school readiness, are acquired and built during the first years of life. Children who are exposed to reading during the first years of life are much more likely to learn to read on schedule.