- About Us
- Programs & Campaigns
- Policy Priorities
- Research Library
- Take Action
- Support Our Work
CDF-Texas established the (now-independent) Austin-based Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition in 2003 to address the needs of our youngest Texans.
Study after study explicitly and unambiguously documents that what happens during the early years is critical to a child's long-term cognitive and behavioral development, physical growth in childhood, and health in adulthood.
Modern brain and child development research supports the need to provide nurturing, educationally stimulating, safe environments and experiences in the early years.
Research over the past 30 years has revealed in detail the important components of effective early child education and development programs.
This knowledge extends from facility design, curriculum, teacher training, teacher-pupil ratios and learning standards to the provision of nurturing and stimulating experiences, and the importance of quality ratings, parental roles, and community participation.
While early education is a public issue affecting the quality of society at a micro level, it also affects the quality of our workforce.
Reciprocally, employment is necessary to generate family income sufficient to afford quality early childhood education.
Early childhood education services are not readily available to all children. This is true when one considers: the inconsistent availability of high quality programs; the cost of high-quality programs; and the lack of facilities in certain communities.
Often, high-quality services that are available cost equal to or greater than what one might pay for a college education.
Except perhaps for those at the highest income levels, most children in the U.S. are in households where the single mother or both parents are working and require early education services.
Unfortunately, not only is access to early education services haphazard, but a large percentage of the care provided to children, irrespective of income, is neither educational nor developmentally promotive.
Evaluations of various early childhood education and development programs have yielded important insight on cost-effectiveness.
Some of these studies have followed children closely into adulthood. According to the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, every tax dollar invested in quality early childhood education and development returns more than $17 to the community at large.
Returns are almost evenly divided between individual increased wages, and the state's enhanced tax revenues and savings on the cost of the criminal justice system, crime victim losses, and repeating grades in school.
Unaccounted for in these studies is the intrinsic value and cost savings due to improved health in adulthood and the benefit of a better educated, trainable, skilled, and employable workforce to the national economy.
To learn more, visit tecec.org.