Early Learning Advocates Respond to the First Five Years Fund poll that Points to Strong Bipartisan Support for High Quality Early Education - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Early Learning Advocates Respond to the First Five Years Fund poll that Points to Strong Bipartisan Support for High Quality Early Education

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SOURCE First 5 LA

LOS ANGELES, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Results from the First Five Years poll, which surveyed 800 registered voters across the political spectrum, found that 71 percent of respondents support increasing preschool programming for low and moderate income families.

The poll, which was conducted by a bipartisan polling team this June showed that 71 percent of those surveyed also said they supported spending on early learning even if it increases the deficit in the short term but pays for itself in the long term by improving children's education, health and economic situations--so that less spending will be needed in these areas.

According to the survey, an even larger number, 91 percent (87 percent Republican, 97 percent Democrats), believe that it is important to make early education and child care more affordable for working families. The poll further shows broad scale support (77 percent) for funding voluntary home visiting and parent education programs.

Poll results can be found here: www.GrowAmericaStronger.org/poll.

Quotes from early learning advocacy leaders:

Kim Belshe, Executive Director, First 5 LA
"Americans across the political spectrum recognize two important truths - that learning begins at birth and that waiting until a child enters Kindergarten results in lost learning opportunities and children at risk of starting school behind their classmates with access to quality early learning.  I'm proud that California policy makers are investing in expanding access to quality early learning programs, but more is needed in our state and nationally if we are to fully address the learning gaps unfortunately so prevalent in our state and nation."

Ted Lempert, President, Children Now
"The recent budget agreement shows that California state policy is starting to reflect both the plethora of research and the strong public support that this new data confirms – that investing in quality early learning is the best investment we can make, and one that is supported by the public. However, there is much more to do, especially for infants and toddlers, if we really want to address the opportunity gap."

David Rattray, Senior V.P. for Education and Workforce Development, L.A. Area Chamber
"The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce understands that investing in quality early education is highly effective in increasing high school graduation and college attendance, decreasing crime, developing our future workforce and building a stronger economy. We know what a good investment looks like and the survey results further solidify the importance of a cradle-to-career approach. As we experience a slow but steady recovery, it is important that our nation make wise choices that will ensure that we are prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century."

Tahra Goraya, Director, ZERO TO THREE Western Office
"The 79% of voters who support high-quality infant and toddler programs recognize that the first three years of life lay the foundation for future learning. Warm and nurturing environments (both at home or in child care) support the architecture of the developing brain improve its capacities for thinking, language, emotion and self-regulation. It is time to ensure that all children have a strong start in life."

Moira Kenney, Executive Director, First 5 Association
"This new poll reflects the trend we are seeing across California, with parents and communities leading the call for a greater commitment to our youngest children. The strong support for higher program quality as well as greater affordability demonstrates that the public understands the importance of early learning programs."

Deborah Kong, President, Early Edge California
We are thrilled to see the strong support for high-quality early learning programs. What these results show is that early childhood education is not a fad. Voters see that by supporting high-quality programs and programs for vulnerable infants and toddlers, we can truly give children the early experiences they need to succeed and, ultimately, make the most of our investment. We now turn to Congress to build on our work here in the Golden State and make the wise investments in federal-state partnerships to give the children the strong start they need and deserve.

Sharon Woodson-Bryant (213) 482-7507
swoodson@first5la.org

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