• Research tells us that investing in early learning benefits children + families + society.
  • The availability of early education programs attracts homebuyers and increases property values by $13 for every dollar invested.
  • A lack of childcare costs businesses $4.4b annually due to employee absences.
  • Quality early education reduces grade retention and saves school divisions money in the long run.
  • Children who attend higher quality programs enter kindergarten ready to learn, live healthier lives, are LESS likely to repeat a grade, and are MORE likely to graduate from high school.
  • A focus on birth to five lowers rates of chronic disease and lowers health care costs.
  • Children who participate in high quality programs show long-term health benefits (reduced depression, rates of smoking, obesity and substance abuse).
  • The annual cost of infant, toddler and preschool programs ranges between $10-16k. Those programs may not be high quality.
  • Children from low-income families often have access to lower quality programs.

Economics in VA

  • $13,728 is the annual cost of center-based care.
  • 47% of residents live in childcare deserts.


  • Children are born learning.
  • Children who enter kindergarten behind their peers are more likely to remain behind in their education, careers and lives.
  • The foundation for reading ability is built in the first five years.
  • High quality early learning increases high school graduation rates by 14%.
  • When children face adversity, they are at far greater risk for cognitive, language, social & emotional delays.

The Politics

Polling data is in!  We will share what we heard from Virginia voters soon.

COVID-19 Impact on Early Learners & Programs

  • More children started kindergarten without key readiness skills (VKRP, Spring 2021).
  • More black and brown children entered kindergarten without the readiness skills they need to be successful academically and socially (VKRP, Spring 2021).
  • Social skills and self-regulation skills are kindergarten teachers’ biggest concerns.
  • More kindergarteners and first graders started the school year at high risk for literacy failure compared to last year.
  • Black, brown, English learners (EL) and children from economically disadvantaged homes were at greater risk of reading failure (PALS, Fall 2019 to Spring 2021).
  • The increased number of kindergarten and first grade students starting the school year at high risk for reading failure is a threat to third grade reading outcomes down the road (UVA COVID-19 Research Brief, Fall 2020).
  • 52% of Virginia’s kindergarteners ended the school year still needing to build foundational skills in Literacy, Math, Self-Regulation, and/or Social Skills (Understanding Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Virginia Kindergarten Readiness Skills – Spring 2021).

Invest in our Children!