A recent Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The First Eight Years: Giving Kids a Foundation for Lifetime Success details the importance of children’s early years in academic achievement. The report also makes a number of policy recommendations including expansion of “voluntary, evidence-based home-visiting and parent-training programs” like those offered by RCFS via Parents as Teachers and Nurse-Family Partnership. Further investment in high quality early care programs that provide additional support for families, such as Early Head Start, is urged. Opportunities for child care providers to continue their education, like those offered by our Excellence in Care and Early Learning (ExCEL) program are also highlighted as a critical piece of the early care end education system.
In the conclusion, the report’s authors state:
“A strong and prosperous society flourishes when there is a commitment to the care, health and education of its youngest children. The findings in this policy report suggest that high-quality early childhood programs that include supports for families have a powerful and lasting impact on children as they progress through school and into adulthood.”