Expanding access to high quality early childhood education is among the smartest investments that we can make. Research has shown that the early years in a child’s life—when the human brain is forming—represent a critically important window of opportunity to develop a child’s full potential and shape key academic, social, and cognitive skills that determine a child’s success in school and in life.
Participation in high-quality early learning programs—like Head Start, public and private pre-K, and childcare—will provide children from all backgrounds with a strong start and a foundation for school success. These programs also generate a significant return on investment for society; numerous economic studies have documented a rate of return of $7 or more on each dollar invested through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.
President Obama’s comprehensive early learning agenda invests in and strengthens early childhood education, care, and development for our nation’s youngest learners. It helps to prevent achievement gaps before they start, and invests from an early age in children as our most critical national resource.
- Preschool for All
- Boosting the Quality of Child Care
- Empowering Parents
- Raising the Bar for Early Learning
- Reforming and Expanding Head Start
White House Announces Summit on Early Education
WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, December 10, President Obama will host a White House Summit on Early Education. The Summit will bring together a broad coalition of philanthropic, business, education, advocacy and elected leaders, as well as other stakeholders who are committed to expanding access to high-quality early education. This summit builds on the President’s call in his 2013 State of the Union address to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America. As part of that effort, the President proposed a series of new investments that will establish a continuum of high-quality early learning for a child—beginning at birth and continuing to age five. This proposal includes extending and expanding evidence-based, voluntary home visiting, growing the supply of effective early learning opportunities for young children through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships, and providing Preschool for All. Since the President’s call to action, more than 30 states and cities have established new programs or expanded access to preschool. Studies show that for every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we see a rate of return of $7 or more through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults.
During the summit, the President will announce the states and communities that will receive $250 million in Preschool Development Grants and $500 million in Early Head Start Child Care Partnership awards to enhance and expand preschool programs and to improve access to high-quality infant and toddler care in high-need communities. In addition to those grant announcements, the President will also highlight new private sector commitments to expand children’s early learning opportunities. Over the last several months, Senior Administration Officials have traveled across the country to hear from local officials, education experts, business leaders, and the philanthropic community about how to best advance the President’s agenda to expand access to high-quality early education for all Americans.
Wednesday, December 10
President Obama hosts a White House Summit on Early Education
8:25 AM Opening Remarks: Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Muñoz
8:40 AM Panel 1: Public Investment Leadership to Expand Early Education
11:05 AM Panel 2: Challenging Leaders to Invest in Early Education
11:50 AM President Obama Delivers Remarks
1:40 PM Panel 3: Promoting Quality in Early Education
2:40 PM Vice President Biden Delivers Closing Remarks