Report | February 17, 2021

High-Quality Early Childhood Education is Key for a Strong Florida

Pre-K can help grow the economy, increase public safety, and enhance national security

Florida’s workforce and long-term economic growth, public safety, and our national security depend on the foundation that we lay for students in our state today. Florida has made strides to prioritize access to early childhood education, a key investment in building the future that our students and our communities need. Yet, despite this investment, only about half of entering Florida kindergartners demonstrate readiness to succeed in school. In addition, more than half of Florida children have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE). High-quality early childhood education can help mitigate the impact of ACEs and builds a foundation for success in elementary school and beyond.

School success is the greatest crime-fighting tool available against ACEs. Early educational support gives us better citizens and safer communities. These should be Florida’s goals.

State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade County

Well-educated young people are more likely to finish high school on time and be ready for college or any career they choose, including the military. There is also a link between inadequate education and crime, suggesting that students’ education is not only linked to the success of our state’s economy, but also to public safety. By bolstering the quality of early childhood education, we are improving our students’ readiness to succeed in school and life, helping them to avoid lives of crime, and enabling them to contribute meaningfully to our state and national economy, as well as to the defense of our nation, should they choose that path.

Investments in high-quality early childhood education for our youngest learners are critical for a strong economy. All companies need a well-prepared and skilled workforce.

Gavin Macphail, Executive Vice President, JLL

In order to put more of our young children on the path to success and strengthen our state, we must support quality in Florida’s VPK program. In particular, we must define and implement quality standards for VPK that include social and emotional growth–not just early academic skills–as a way to increase quality and help mitigate ACEs, for the greatest long-term impact.

Nearly one in four young Americans cannot pass the military entrance exam. Early learning programs can help keep military service an option for more Floridians.

Brigadier General (Ret.) Jerry Neff, U.S. Army

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