Today’s article from the Boston Globe seems to hit the right note: “legislators and corporate leaders are working together to increase quality of and access to early education and care”. BTWIC thanks House Speaker Robert DeLeo for being a true champion, harnessing the power of Boston’s strong business sector on behalf of young children across the Commonwealth. We have long held that early education and care is a community issue, one that affects all tiers of the economy, and it is heartening to see this work being done.
The attached graphic, and much of the article itself, focuses on children ages 3 to 5 – “Pre-K”, as it is formally known. Even the annual cost of a private-pay program (quoted as $12,800), is Child Care Aware‘s average figure for four-year-olds. An infant in care runs a family just over $17,000/year, for comparison.
Indeed, brain science has shown that rapid development occurs in the first months and years after birth, up to 700 new neural connections each second, largely through a “serve and return” process of interaction with a primary caregiver. This interaction is so important that, by 24 months old, disparities in vocabulary can become apparent among children from families of varying income.
Speaker DeLeo has heard this message, and understands the need for a quality workforce to support the healthy growth and development of young children of all ages, from all backgrounds. We are fortunate that the field has such a strong leader in the Massachusetts legislature.