The United States skills gap is real and growing. According to a Business Roundtable survey, 98 percent of CEOs report that finding candidates with competencies and training to fill positions is a problem.
Closing the skills gap begins with a world-class education system. Achieving a world-class K-12 system begins with high quality early education.
Both job-specific skills and “soft skills” such as teamwork, grit, creativity and the ability to regulate your emotions begin during the early childhood years.
It is time to prepare children for the workplace of the future—that workplace will demand individuality, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.
The science and economic argument for high quality early education:
- The scientific argument: 90% of a child’s brain is developed before the age of five. The interactive influences of genes and experience shape the developing brain. Serve and return interactions (sensitive and responsive care-giving) shape brain architecture. A balanced approach to emotional, social, cognitive and language development will best prepare children for success in school and the workplace.
- The economic argument: Investing early yields higher returns than any other time in the life cycle.
Business leaders play a critical role in advancing early education. Won’t you become part of our issue advocacy work? Contact Devan Maloney to get involved.
National Research Council & the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development, 2000.
 Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, 2012.
 Brookings Institute, Social and Emotional Development: The Next School Reform Frontier, 2015.
 Business Roundtable
 Golinkoff, Roberta M., and Hirsch-Pasek, Kathy. Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, 2016.
 Center on the Developing Child. Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood, 2009.