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Ragan says preschool is best investment for kids

Senator Amanda Ragan
Senator Amanda Ragan

From Sent. Amanda Ragan –

Iowa sees big returns when kids get quality early experiences. Good health care, quality childcare and preschool, and safe, nurturing homes and communities help kids succeed in school and in life.

When it comes to education, studies show that the biggest return on investment comes from quality preschool. Not only do kids who attend preschool do better in school, they earn more money as adults on average than those who didn’t attend preschool. That is why in 2007, Iowa launched statewide voluntary preschool for 4-year-olds. Today, 320 Iowa school districts offer tuition-free preschool for 4-year-olds.

The benefits of investing in children are so strong that economist Rob Grunewald of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis told legislators this week that it is one of the best ways to support economic development. According to research, 85 percent of brain growth occurs in the first six years of life and bears significant impact on a child’s future abilities. For example, differences in vocabulary growth among children begin to appear as early as 18 months.

Access to quality early childhood programs give parents the confidence to enter the workforce, knowing their kids are in good hands. Great childcare options reduce employee absenteeism and turnover, and are key to attracting businesses to our local communities. This is especially important in Iowa since we have one of the highest percentages of families in which both parents work.

I will continue to support good opportunities that prepare our kids to learn and succeed through healthy, safe and nurturing homes, schools and communities.

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