Disinvestments in early education are hurting children and families

by AzECA, Arizona Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, Expect More Arizonaeducation at all levels has been impacted; in some ways, it’s forever changed. And the students who are most likely to face the longest-term effects are also the youngest.In recently updated data, the Arizona Education Progress Meter showed a decline of 3% in Quality Early Learning over the past two years. Enrollment in quality early learning among Arizona 3- and 4-year-olds now stands at 19%, down from 22% two years ago. Arizona must take quick action to reverse this decrease and ensure all children have a strong start to their education, which is foundational to their future success and Arizona’s ability to meet the goals in the Education Progress Meter.The recent decline in Quality Early Learning is based on two major factors:1. COVID-19 has decimated the childcare industryThree- and 4-year-old children thrive on interpersonal learning and relationships with caring adults who are key to their development. Having both teachers and peers together in a face-to-face setting is a large part of the academic, physical and social-emotional growth that sets these children on their paths to success.When the pandemic struck Arizona last year, early learning programs in communities, homes and churches were shuttered. In fact, within the first two weeks of the pandemic, Arizona’s Quality First program led by First Things First lost more than half of its…

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Arizona Voters Support State Investment in High-Quality Early Childhood Education

Survey Shows 76% of Arizona Voters Support State Investment in High-Quality Early Childhood Education 66% think state should be doing more. Contact: Max Fose, CEO Fose + McKay 202-285-8885 Email (PHOENIX, AZ) In contrast to many other issues on which voters are divided, support remains overwhelming for state investment in high-quality early childhood education. Seventy-six percent of likely voters said they support the state investing in high-quality early childhood education opportunities for children from birth to five years old, according to a newly released survey completed by Moore Information Group. Additionally, 66% of likely voters think the state should be doing more when it comes to ensuring children in Arizona begin kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed. Other findings highlighted voters’ concern with quality, availability and the cost of early childhood education. “When it comes to the impact of high-quality learning, the data is clear, and voters support the investment. We urge our elected leaders, the business community and other stakeholders to support high-quality early childhood education policies that are proven wins for children and Arizona,” said Melanie Mitros, PhD, chair of the Arizona Early Childhood Funders Collaborative. “Children who attend high-quality early childhood education programs are more likely to graduate from high school, continue with higher education, have higher earning ability and lasting health benefits.”…

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