RELEASE: CAP Unveils Early Childhood Agenda for States in 2018

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress unveiled an agenda that outlines 10 early childhood ideas for states in 2018. With gubernatorial races in 36 states this year, constituents are eager to hear what candidates will do to improve access to high-quality early childhood programs. National polling shows that making quality early childhood education more affordable for working families is an issue supported by 82 percent of Republicans and 97 percent of Democrats. Voters understand that high-quality programs can set children up for long-term success and supports the future workforce.

This report provides a menu of policy recommendations for states to consider as they look to expand early childhood education systems to meet the needs of all children and families. Among the policies detailed in the report are ways states can address the high cost of child care and preschool; the chronically low wages of early educators; the prevalence of child care deserts; and the lack of support for young children with disabilities and developmental delays.

“Parents, voters, and early childhood educators recognize the importance of investing in our children’s future early, for the immediate and long-term benefits,” said Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at CAP. “In 2018, state leaders across the country have the opportunity to address this critical issue. Investing in early childhood will strengthen the current workforce, allowing parents to pursue their careers, will recognize the value of early childhood educators, and will help today’s children meet their true potential, regardless of ZIP code.”

Numerous research studies have confirmed the return on investment of high-quality early childhood education, with estimates as high as $13 for every dollar invested and a recent CAP analysis showed that making preschool available for 4 year olds would generate more than $83 billion per year in economic benefits.

“State leaders have the chance to take the lead in supporting parents, children and this vital workforce,” said Katie Hamm, vice president for Early Childhood Policy. “States are often where some of the most innovative and solution-focused programs begin and thrive. It’s time for leaders to turn their attention to our youngest children and those who support them.”

Click here to read “Top 10 Early Childhood Ideas for States in 2018” by Simon Workman, Katie Hamm, Rasheed Malik, and Cristina Novoa.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Rafael J. Medina at or 202-748-5313.