New Bipartisan Poll Finds Investing In Early Childhood Education Is Top National Priority

New Bipartisan Poll Finds Investing In Early Childhood Education Is Top National Priority

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 20th, 2015

Denver, CO – Results from a new bipartisan poll released today by the First Five Years Fund, in partnership with the Colorado Children’s Campaign, find that voters of all parties share a top national priority: investing in early childhood education.

“Support for early childhood education is strong and growing stronger. These latest findings confirm that voters across the country see access to quality early childhood education as a necessity for today’s families and critical to the future success of their children,” said Kris Perry, Executive Director of the First Five Years Fund. “For the first time in our three years of polling, Americans’ top priority is making sure children get a strong start in life, a concern equal to improving the overall quality of public education.”

Over three-fourths of American voters support increasing federal investment to help states expand access to high-quality early childhood programs for low-and moderate-income families – 59 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 94 percent of Democrats.

These results are particularly relevant in Colorado, where early childhood advocates are working with Colorado Children’s Campaign to increase access to quality early learning. Since the state constitution currently limits the extent to which the Colorado legislature can devote more resources to public priorities, including early childhood programs, federal assistance is essential to providing quality early learning opportunities to more Colorado children.

“These poll results show that voters clearly recognize the value of early learning and they want the federal government to support state investments in quality early childhood programs at the state level,” said Bill Jaeger, Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “Though Colorado has made huge gains in increasing access to quality early care and learning, several bills in the last session that would have further improved access to quality programs were left on the floor. As we look to expand early childhood opportunities to more families, Colorado would highly benefit from the kind of federal partnerships called for in these poll results.”

The Colorado Children’s Campaign and other state partners have united key stakeholders to push for investments in Colorado’s child care subsidy program, efforts which net out to a 115 percent increase in state funding for child care over the past two legislative sessions. Investment increases in preschool access and other early learning programs have been a top priority of legislators in the past few sessions, but state lawmakers now find themselves constrained by conflicting constitutional limits on expenditures.

The national poll results also show that advancements like those in Colorado are serving the needs of American families, as 88 percent of voters agree that with families often needing two incomes to get by and many single parents working more than one job, access to quality early childhood education is a necessity—not a luxury.

Additional findings from the national poll are highlighted below:

  • 89 percent of likely voters agree that we need to ensure more children have early learning and socialization experiences during the first five years of life.
  • 74 percent of voters are willing to fund this investment through short-term increases in the federal deficit, as long as that investment pays for itself in the long-term–something quality early childhood education has proven to accomplish. This supporting group includes 59 percent of Republican voters.
  • 84 percent of voters believe a candidate who supports early childhood education is looking out for working-and middle-class families.

The poll was commissioned by the First Five Years Fund and conducted by the bipartisan polling team of Public Opinions Strategies (R) and Hart Research (D). 800 voters throughout the country were surveyed on both landline and cell phones. The survey was fielded September 1-5, 2015 and has an overall margin of error of +/-3.46 percent. The sample was distributed proportionately throughout the country and is demographically representative of the national electorate.

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


The First Five Years Fund helps America achieve better results in education, health and economic productivity through investments in quality early childhood education programs for disadvantaged children. FFYF provides knowledge, data, and advocacy – persuading federal policymakers to make investments in the first five years of a child’s life that create greater returns for all. http://www.ffyf.org

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child well-being in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child well-being and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.