The nation's governors made early childhood education a priority recently at their annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Governors from around the country, including Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, gathered in February for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA). Early childhood was discussed during the opening session, with emphasis on how quality education in a child’s most formative years can help build economic strength and yield social benefits for our communities.
The NGA Education and Workforce Committee led the discussion, chaired by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley & Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington.
“Research shows that early childhood education programs have significant and lifelong benefits, including higher high school graduation rates,” said Governor Inslee. “When children have access to these programs, they develop the cognitive, physical and social competencies that serve as a foundation of success in kindergarten and beyond.”
At the meeting, the governors made early childhood education a key priority in their policy work. Among the governors' previously published statements are: Early Learning from Birth through Third Grade and Strengthening States’ Early Care and Education Systems.
Their statement in support of early childhood education is:
“Decades of research shows that high-quality early care and education (ECE) programs have significant academic and lifelong benefits, ranging from lower rates of grade retention and special education placements to greater high school completion rates. Studies find that when children have access to quality ECE programs, they have an opportunity to develop the cognitive, physical, and social competencies that serve as a foundation for success in kindergarten and beyond. As a result, policymakers in many states have made new investments to increase access to and the quality of these programs—particularly for at-risk children.”
A full list of NGA’s statements on education issues can be found on the NGA Center for Best Practices website.
The National Governors Association is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, speak with a collective voice on national policy and develop innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.