Texas State Legislators and Business Leaders Discuss the Brain Science Behind Early Learning with Experts
ReadyNation Texas held a panel of legislators, business leaders, and a brain science expert to discuss the importance of early childhood care and education
Today, ReadyNation Texas held a panel along with the Early Childhood Education Caucus and the St. David’s Foundation to discuss the important brain development that takes place during the earliest years of a child’s life. Early childhood care and education are critical to this development; however, many Texans do not have access to affordable, quality child care, which has led to a crisis with drastic consequences.
According to a recent report by ReadyNation, the child care crisis costs Texas an estimated $11.4 billion dollars every year in lost revenue, earnings, and productivity. ReadyNation’s Brain Science Speakers Bureau’s panel discussion went into detail on why exactly child care is so critical to Texas’s economy, as well as how this crisis is impacting the health of infants and toddlers in America.
Vikki Goodwin, Texas State Representative for House District 47, Brianna Menard, Executive Director of the Texas House Early Childhood Caucus, and Suzii Paynter March, member of ReadyNation Texas and Former Prosper Waco CEO, joined Jennifer M. Zosh, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at Penn State University (Brandywine) and a member of the ReadyNation Brain Science Speakers Bureau on the panel.
“Child care is not merely a convenience for working parents; it is a cornerstone of economic stability and an investment in our future workforce. When parents have reliable and affordable child care options, they can pursue their careers with confidence, knowing their children are in nurturing and educational environments,” said Texas State Representative Vikki Goodwin. “Sound early childhood policies are instrumental in shaping our future generations, and it is our responsibility to support them and ensure that every Texan child has the chance to reach their full potential.”
“It’s also important not to overlook the social cost of this crisis by looking only at the economic impact this crisis has. When we have a generation growing up without access to the care they need to have strong foundations, we rob kids of the potential to help contribute to society by living fulfilling, successful lives. If we want a brighter future for Texas, we need to be talking more about the importance of early childhood education, and more importantly, we need to be supporting it,” said Brianna Menard, Executive Director of the Texas House Early Childhood Caucus.
“When I joined ReadyNation, I started to hear a lot about the importance of quality child care, especially in the early years of child development, particularly 0-3. I’ve learned that early childhood learning builds the foundation of many of the skills employers need in the workforce. And for the parents at my former company, especially mothers, quality child care is key to allowing them to be present at work every day,” said Suzii Paynter March, Former Prosper Waco CEO and Member of ReadyNation Texas.
“My work focuses on how the brain learns and how we, as adults and as a society, can help support healthy development in babies and children. Success is achievable in the face of adversity and difficulties, but the goal is to provide support to parents, children, and communities to ensure we can do everything we can to give children the most support to build a strong foundation that will help them later blossom into successful students, workers, and citizens,” said Jennifer M. Zosh, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at Penn State University (Brandywine) and a member of the ReadyNation Brain Science Speakers Bureau.