To the editor:
I am writing in response to your coverage of budget negotiations in Washington, D.C. I strongly believe in the importance of early childhood programs, including child care assistance for low-income working families and Head Start.
Studies show that investments in early childhood services are critical to building a strong and sustainable economy.
As Nobel-prize winning economist James Heckman notes, investing in early childhood programs is a “cost efficient and effective investment in preventing downstream problems in education, health, social and economic productivity.”
In addition, parents need access to quality and affordable child care in order to work, and this is critical for creating and sustaining jobs and rebuilding our economy.
With one out of every four young children living in poverty, we need to prioritize funding for quality early learning services to create opportunity and jobs.
Unfortunately, these programs are at risk as some policymakers in Washington put forward deep cuts to critical services for kids and families. I urge our members of Congress to protect our children by supporting robust funding — not cuts — to Head Start and child care in the 2013 budget.