Invest in Early Childhood Education– A creation of a community coalition to support early childhood education

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McCormick, Melinda
Master of Leadership Development
Early childhood education is the care or education received from birth to eight years of age. This is the time when a child's brain experiences the most growth. The experiences and education received during this period affect the individual throughout their lifetime. Society places a great deal of importance on K-12 education, however by the time a child begins kindergarten, their brain has already gone through eighty-five percent of its development. This is why the focus needs to be on early childhood education. Gibson County, Indiana lacks high-quality early childhood education and early childhood education programs in general. The number of child care slots is half of what it needs to be. Of the families with children, twenty percent cannot afford child care, but do not qualify for government assistance programming. A coalition of early childhood professionals, community leaders, and business leaders is needed to improve the quality, accessibility, and affordability of child care in the county. Businesses need to invest in early childhood programming in order to improve their current workforce and prepare the workforce of the future. This investment will result in lower employee absenteeism, less employee distraction, improvement in the skills gap of job candidates, improve high school graduation rates, and improve the general health of the residents of the county. Careful planning of such a coalition is key to ensure collaboration of members and overall success.