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Early childhood education benefits society [US-CA]

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Wilson, Lynette
Publication Date: 
11 Apr 2003

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Access to early childhood education is not a conservative, a middle-of-the-road or a liberal motive, but a universal cause.

"Our kids learn by other's kids getting a good start in life," said Craig Ramey, early childhood education specialist.

Ramey, who, along with his wife, is the founding director of the Georgetown University Center on Health and Education. Ramey points to North Carolina and Georgia as two Southern states that realized the importance of teaching kids early and that have reaped the economic benefits. Both have attracted business, high-paying jobs and reduced crime.

"All have roots in the way we are treated early in life," Ramey said.

Ramey recommends that accountability be extended to include not only education, but also health and social services and that "practical, business-type ways of keeping score," should be implemented.

He said the money to fund early childhood education is there -Title I, Early Head Start, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, for example -but that the right people need a seat at the table and the money needs to be better spent.

- reprinted from the News-Star