Cornelia Grumman is executive director of the First Five Years Fund. She was previously a reporter and editorial board member for the Chicago Tribune, winning a Pulitzer Prize for her editorials in 2003.
Early childhood education has become the public-policy bobblehead of our time. An expanding raft of scientific and economic research underscores the need to significantly expand quality early learning in the first five years of life, particularly for at-risk children. Many key policy-makers know this. They nod. And nod.
That's often all they do.
They acknowledge quality early learning can be the most cost-effective public investment available to curb later extensive interventions for special education, teen pregnancies, juvenile crime, and high school dropouts.