New Report: Voters want lawmakers to deliver for kids and their families

Written by: Beza Taddess
Date Posted: January 11, 2019

First Five Years Fund’s sixth year of national polling shows public support for investing in quality early childhood education from birth through age five remains strong. Now is the time for policymakers at the state and federal levels to harness the overwhelming bipartisan support for this issue and work across the aisle to find solutions that support America’s youngest learners. In fact, Democrats and Republicans alike expect all lawmakers to work together to get things done—and investing in early childhood education opportunities remains a rare issue that has strong support across parties. Notably, Democrats and independents overwhelmingly want to see increased funding for early childhood education, even if it means the Trump administration can take credit for helping children and Families.

Voters see a critical lack of quality, affordable early childhood education, regardless of their income level. Only 15 percent say that most or all local programs available to lower and middle-income families are high quality and affordable. Respondents making over $100,000 per year are virtually just as likely (43 percent) as those who earn less than $40,000 per year (51 percent) to say that only some or few programs near them are affordable and high quality.

The bipartisan support for tackling these issues is encouraging news for Colorado families. Among the 41 states with state-supported preschool programs, Colorado ranks 37th in spending, 22nd in access to preschool for four-year-olds and 10th in access for three-year-olds. Longitudinal data show children facing barriers to achievement because of their race or income who participate in the Colorado Preschool Program outperform their peers who did not participate in the program. The newly elected and sworn in lawmakers can look to early childhood education as an issue where they can cut through the partisan divide and accomplish something meaningful on behalf of their constituents. Gov. Jared Polis, sworn in on Tuesday this week, has pledged to “establish universal full-day kindergarten and preschool in every community across Colorado.”

You can see more of the results here and share the findings on social media.


 

Beza Taddess

About Beza Taddess

Beza Taddess is the Communications and Policy Fellow for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Beza supports the organization’s communications and outreach efforts and is here at the Children’s Campaign as part of the Public Interest Fellowship Program. She graduated from Colorado College in May of 2015 with a degree in sociology.