Research confirms that a child's healthy development depends upon his or her experiences in the first years of life. The National Governors Association supports the view that states have a compelling interest to invest in services that improve care and education of infants and toddlers. Studies show such an emphasis reduces future expenditures in assistance programs and pays huge dividends for children and society.
But Idaho is far behind the curve in the resources it devotes to quality early childhood education. Why? Parents and providers who are educated about developmental stages can make a big difference in how well prepared a child is for school. So, in what programs should Idaho invest? Should our growing understanding of how children learn and develop change where we put our tax dollars.
Joan Cartan-Hansen and a panel of nationally and regionally recognized early childhood experts focus on how parent, providers and policy makers should rethink what ready to learn really means.