Note: “Helping the Helpers” is a CFA spotlight on the legacy of Fred Rogers and his role in helping communities see the value of creating...
CFA Special Initiative: Early Childhood Education
What will your legacy be?
You could empower generations of children
The Early Childhood Education Fund at Community Foundation for the Alleghenies helps you fight for your community’s future by giving more children access to high-quality early childhood education, helping more of them become readers by the end of 3rd grade, and multiplying their chances of success for their entire lives.
You could empower generations of children
A bequest or gift to the Foundation’s Early Childhood Education Fund means you will be there for kids in your community forever.
Research shows the impact of quality early childhood education: not only are children with access to it more likely to finish high school, attend college, and avoid criminal justice intervention, but so are their children. Access to quality early childhood education has multi-generational impact. Without high-quality early education, at-risk children are:
- 25 percent more likely to drop out of school
- 40 percent more likely to become a teen parent
- 50 percent more likely to be placed in special education
- 60 percent more likely to never attend college*
Without our help, families of nearly half of the children born in our region will struggle to be able to provide this life-changing advantage. Many of our region’s schools have high percentages of children who can’t read proficiently by the end of third grade, which is a marker for overall success in school and life. In fact, children who can’t read by the end of 3rd grade are at least three times less likely to finish high school than kids who can read by the end of 3rd grade. (Some studies put that figure at up to four times less likely.)
How can you re-write the story for vulnerable children and re-imagine your community’s future? Maybe you spent your life caring for people—as a teacher, a nurse, a volunteer, or an engaged parent. Participating in the Early Childhood Education Fund is a way to honor your life’s work by responding to one of our community’s most urgent needs and protecting our most precious assets: our children.
Invest in little learners and build a brighter future for all of us, forever.
Call us today at 814-536-7741.
*Data compiled by the Ounce of Prevention Fund, which pulled information from studies including The Abecedarian Project, the High/Scope Perry Preschool Study, the Chicago Longitudinal Study of Child-Parent Centers, and the Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project.
WATCH: Talking to reporters at a press conference to announce Early Childhood Education Fund grants, CFA Program Officer Angie Berzonski explains the needs that the fund is helping to address.
REVIEW THE RESEARCH
What does the research say?
- The return on investment for high quality Pre-K has been shown (Perry Preschool Project) to be as high as $12 for every $1 spent. The study clearly shows the correlation between quality education opportunities and decreased spending on crime, welfare, and special and remedial education costs.
- There is a positive correlation between quality early education opportunities, consequential employment success, and increased income tax returns.
- Without high-quality early childhood education, at-risk kids are: 25 percent more likely to drop out of high school, 50 percent more likely to be placed in special education, and 60 percent more likely to never attend college.
Scientists have discovered that the experiences children have early in life—and the environments in which they have them—not only shape their brain architecture, but also affect whether, how, and when the developmental instructions carried in their genes are expressed. This is how the environment of relationships young children experience with adult caregivers, as well as early nutrition and the physical, chemical, and built environments, all get ‘under the skin’ and influence lifelong learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health—for better or for worse.
Click on the research links to read more:
- The Abecedarian Project
- High/Scope Perry Preschool Study
- Chicago Longitudinal Study of Child-Parent Centers
- Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Project
Return on Investment
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the School of Social Policy & Practice at The University of Pennsylvania offers an excellent overview of the high ROI connected with early childhood education.
While it can be difficult to put a dollar amount on lifetime and societal benefits of increased access to early childhood education, especially for economic and otherwise disadvantaged populations, some studies have assigned values per dollar invested:
- The National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs has found that high quality early childhood programs can yield a $4 – $9 dollar return per $1 invested.
- A 2009 study of Perry Preschool, a high-quality program for 3-5 year olds developed in Michigan in the 1960s, estimated a return to society of between about $7 and $12 for each $1 invested.
Read more from Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy: Investing in a Strong Start for Children
— Dr. Schweinhart, President of the High Scope Educational Research Foundation