TOOLKIT FOR BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYERSINTRODUCTIONThere is a growing recognition and evidence that the success of business and the future workforce depends upon strong early childhood systems. Research shows the care and education received is critical to the recruitment and retention of current parent employees as well as the quality of the next generation of workers. Investing in our youngest children is the best economic development we have as a community, state, and nation. Children must enter kindergarten ready and able to succeed. When children begin school behind, they tend to continue to fall further and further behind. High quality preschool education can help close gaps. Research proves that the return on investment for high quality programs is $17 for every $1 spent. Long-term positive outcomes and cost savings include improved school performance, reduced special education placement, lower dropout rates, and increased lifelong earning potential. National leaders in business, banking, and economics see the return on investment in early childhood development and are backing early childhood efforts across the nation.TEN WAYS BUSINESSES CAN SUPPORT EARLY CHILDHOOD
1.) Advocate for early childhood issues with legislators and local governmental bodies
Example: Write, call or meet with politicians encouraging them to consider the connection between business and early childhood issues when they represent you.
2.) Create family friendly employment practices
Example: Seek corporate support and /or policies which value parents as employees, such as allowing flex time when children are sick.
3.) Provide early childhood resource packets to employees with young children
Example: Contact Great Start for information that can assist families to connect with early childhood resources.
4.) Provide Day Care information to parents
Example: Licensed day care providers can be found through 4C’s of the UP.
5.) Provide information on child health care. MI Child, Medicaid, or Private
Example: Provide access to MI Child forms or other appropriate health care applications.
6.) Support early reading initiatives
Example: Encourage parents of children less than 5 years of age to enroll in the EUP Imagination Library (free) and consider supporting the program with a financial donation.
7.) Encourage participation in parent education activities
Example: Provide release time (2, 4, or 8 hours per year) so parents can attend pre-school or education related activities. Encourage parents to join one of the local Parent Coalitions so their voices are heard at the EUP Great Start Collaborative. Provide families with information about parenting classes offered in the area.
8.) Promote the social, emotional, and behavioral well-being of young children and families
Example: Increase your awareness of programs that support the well being of children and families. Resources include local Health Departments and the local Department of Community Mental Health programs.
9.) Assist employees with economic security and child safety concerns
Example: Help establish neighborhood watch programs; provide incentives to employees that will encourage high quality day care or preschool access.
10.) Become involved in the EUP Great Start Collaborative
Example: Attend, and become actively involved in, the Great Start initiative to strengthen the early childhood-business partnerships in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.INTERESTING FACTSRESEARCH SHOWS...-90% of brain growth occurs from birth to five years of age
-By the age of three, many children know 1,000 words
-A child develops the ability to reason by the age of five.
RE-EDUCATION IS COSTLY TO TAXPAYERS: It cost taxpayers over $140 million re-educating children who had to repeat kindergarten and/or first grade.
EARLY INVESTMENT YIELDS LONG TERM SAVINGS: Long-term positive outcomes and cost savings include improved school performance, reduced special education placement, lower school dropout rates and increased lifelong learning potential. (Source: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study)
EARLY EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT: Adults at age 40 who participated in a preschool program in their early years have higher earnings, are more likely to hold a job, have committed fewer crimes, and are more likely to have graduated from high school. (Source: The High/Scope Perry Preschool Study)
BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IS CRUCIAL IN THE EARLY YEARS: 85% of brain development occurs during the first five years of life.
UNRELIABLE CHILDCARE = BIG LOSSES FOR EMPLOYERS: Work and family conflicts cost businesses an estimated $3 billion a year nationally.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PRACTICES = LARGE BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYERS: Employers can decrease turnover by 37%-60% by adapting family-friendly workplaces.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: High-quality early childhood education generates significant benefits. On average, each child who participates in a quality learning program will:
-Return $10-$17 for every $1 spent on preschool
-Save the State $171,473 in delinquency and crime costs and $7,303 in education costs
-Return $14,078 to government in taxes paid
-Earn $156,490 more over the course of his or her work life.