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Alabama’s investment in pre-K is paying off

June 7, 2016
State & Local
Brian Bucher

As parents and caregivers, few of us would consider ourselves experts on child brain development. But decades of research has established the critical importance of children learning before they reach school age and the role we have in shaping their progress. 

During the first five years of life, children begin to learn vocabulary, language, socio-emotional behavior, literacy, math, spatial reasoning, executive function and self-regulation. Although the impact of all this learning and development is nearly invisible to the eye, the impact on children is immeasurable and often determines their chances of success in school and life.

As a company focused on community and economic development, we understand the importance of the right start in a child’s life. Investments in our youngest students are warranted given studies that show as much as a $16 benefit for every dollar invested. 

Given this return on investment, providing support for early education is more prudent than waiting until high school when issues are often more difficult to remediate. As resources in our state grow tighter and more demands are made on them, we have to be wise about our investment decisions. After all, it is far easier to prevent the achievement gap than to try to close it.