Blog | March 31, 2021

ReadyNation Event Underscores the Science Behind Early Investments

California’s young children begin to develop valuable workforce skills early in life

On March 30th, ReadyNation California and First 5 LA held a virtual Lunch & Learn event: “The Science Behind Early Childhood Investments" to highlight the science behind why investments in early childhood programs, including high-quality child care and development programs, play such an essential role in strengthening California’s future societal and economic prosperity. The event gathered early learning advocates, a brain science expert, and a workforce leader for a virtual panel discussion on the topic.

The panel featured Charna Widby-Martin, Chief Government Affairs Officer at First 5 LA, Angelo Farooq, DPPD Chairman of the California Workforce Development Board (CWDB) and entrepreneur,Marley Jarvis, PhDOutreach and Education Specialist @Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) at the University of Washington, and Shelly Masur, California State Director with Council for a Strong America.

During the event, Dr. Jarvis gave an overview of the importance of early brain development - emphasizing that brains are built early on through the interactions between a child and their caregiver. Early positive and negative experiences can change the structure and functions of the brain and quality early learning experiences can influence life-long outcomes. According to Jarvis, one way to support a young child’s development is by enacting policies that support their caregivers, including things such as: family leave policies, high-quality childcare, affordable housing, living wage, and access to social services.

If we’re thinking about how to best support children as future contributors of our society, it’s through positive early development & support for their caregivers.

Dr. Marley Jarvis

ReadyNation member and workforce leader, Dr. Angelo Farooq, offered a personal testimony of the importance of early brain development within the context of his experience as a father. “I see this every day with my daughter. When we talk with her, read to her, and play with her I see her making connections and learning. We may not realize, but these early learning experiences are shaping the brains of the future workforce. Done right, it can set our future workforce on a path of productivity, creativity, innovation and overall more positive life outcomes.”

A strong early childhood system has a positive impact on working families and California’s workforce. A 2019 study by ReadyNation, for example, revealed that reliable child care for working parents of young children has an impact on productivity, morale, and earnings. Council for a Strong America Director, Shelly Masur also expressed a commitment from ReadyNation business leaders to the California Early Childhood Education Coalition’s state budget requests that include increasing provider reimbursement rates, increased investments in subsidized child care, waiving copayments or fees for low-income families in child care and investing in technology. Learn about ReadyNation California’s budget and policy priorities here.

Watch the recording of this event below:


  1. California