48:59 minutes (23.52 MB)
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Every $1 invested in high quality early childhood education saves taxpayers $7.
Those numbers from Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance cite reduced costs from special education, welfare, and criminal justice services.
And that learning doesn’t start in kindergarten, it starts at birth. A baby’s brain grows to 80% of its mature size during the first three years of life, and to 90% by age five.
Many low-income parents can’t provide adequate care and stimulation for young children because of long work hours…and they often can’t afford pre-schools.
This starts creating an “achievement gap” at a very young age, a gap which only widens as the children continue their schooling.
Today we’ll celebrate the “week of the young child” by exploring early care and education - including brain development, language and social skills developed during the first years of life.
We’ll explore how some of these vital services may be affected by the state’s budget cuts – and how federal legislation is helping or hurting our youngest children’s chances of racing to the top.