U.S. Chamber of Commerce Underscores Importance of Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 8:00pm

Chamber’s ICW Issues Report Highlighting Link Between Early Learning and a Strong Workforce

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), the education and workforce nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today released a report highlighting key actions the business community can take to support early learning programs as an important foundation for workforce development. The report, entitled Ready, Set, Go: How Business Can Support Early Childhood Education, was funded by and released in conjunction with the Pew Charitable Trusts, PNC Bank, and Knowledge Universe Education.

“Research shows that investments in high-quality early learning programs for children from birth to age five yield high returns, including increased earnings and decreased use of social services,” said Karen Elzey, Vice President of ICW. “Achieving a world-class education system and creating a highly-skilled workforce begins with high-quality early learning opportunities.”

Ready, Set, Go: How Business Can Support Early Childhood Education catalogues research on early learning opportunities for children from birth to age five, the impact on a child’s development, and the role of early learning in building a strong academic foundation. The report shows how communities from several states, including California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Washington, and Virginia, have collaborated with state and local chambers of commerce and businesses to address early childhood education.

To follow the lead of these promising practices, ICW’s Early Childhood Education Initiative encourages business leaders to take the following steps:

Six Actions the Business Community Can Take

  • Support a mixed provider delivery system
  • Encourage alignment between the early learning system and the K-12 system
  • Promote early learning policies as part of the economic development agenda
  • Encourage the inclusion of early childhood data in the statewide longitudinal data system
  • Encourage your state to adopt a Quality Rating Information System
  • Encourage business organizations and networks to adopt a policy position in support of public investments for effective, high quality early education programs

For more information on action items, as well as a summary of the economic evidence behind investments in early childhood education, please visit www.uschamber.com/icw.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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