Did You Know?

  • The U.S. currently spends significantly less than most peer nations on early education. France, New Zealand, the Nordic countries and the United Kingdom spend over 1% of GDP on early education, while the U.S. spends less that 0.5% of GDP. [1]
  • Nearly two-thirds of the nation’s 4th graders cannot read at a proficient level and approximately 1/3 of students are unable to read at a basic level. [2]
  • Students who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are 4x more likely to fail to graduate on time from high school than those who read at or above grade level. [3]
  •  57% of Virginia’s incoming 4th graders score below proficient reading levels [4]
  • Holding back a child in kindergarten adds nearly $11,000 to the public coast of that child’s education [5]
  • Children who repeat grades in Virginia’s K-3 system cost taxpayers about $80m/year. [6]
  • Economists report that the “soft skills” matter and early education programs improve executive function skills such as grit, self-control, perseverance, delayed gratification and curiosity which are highly predictive of educational and workforce success. [7]
  • The development of executive function before elementary school predicts later math and early reading skills. [8]
  • A healthy mix of hard and soft skills: The 6 Cs are collaboration, communication, content, critical thinking, creative innovation and confidence. This model is rooted in decades of research in child development. [9]
  • Child care costs parents more than in-state college tuition or rent. [10]


[1]The Century Foundation, 2016
[2] U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics, 2015

[3] Annie E. Casey Foundation, How Third Grade Reading Skills And Poverty Influence High School Graduation, 2011.
[4] Annie E. Casey Foundation, Virginia Kids Count Profile, 2016.
[5] Virginia Department of Education
[6] Virginia Department of Education
[7] Ready Nation, Business Case for Early Childhood Investments, 2012.

[8] Princeton Brookings Report
[9] Becoming Brilliant

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