It’s important to find a quality pre-kindergarten program as it is a big key to success in business. Many times we think of successful business leaders as those who are great at branding or risk management.
Early learning programs are essential to building a successful workforce for the future and stimulating our economy today.
A future workforce has to have the skills and training that our businesses need. Jobs increasingly require higher levels of education and 62 percent of jobs in Montana will require post-secondary education by 2018.
Careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will require even further training and these jobs are projected to grow rapidly – in fact, by that same year we expect 23,000 more STEM jobs here in Montana.
Eighteen percent of our students are not graduating high school on time and of those who do graduate, only 29 percent meet college- and career-readiness benchmarks in the core academic areas: math, reading, science and English.
These problems begin well before our students walk through the doors of high school – 54 percent of eighth graders are below grade level in math and 64 percent of fourth graders read below grade level.
The best solution is simple. A report from America’s Edge, a group of business leaders from around the country, shows that children who participate in quality preschool are 44 percent more likely to graduate high school.
74 percent are more likely to hold a skilled job; will make 36 percent more in earnings as adults, and are four times more likely to have earned a four-year degree by age 30. Investing in early learning programs sets our kids on the right path for academic and career success.
High-quality preschool and early learning does more than just create strong future employees – it also provides a boost to our economy right now. For every $1 that we invest in early care and education, a total of $1.61 is generated in sales of local goods and services. This outperforms investments in a variety of other economic sectors, such as mining, oil and gas, construction, transportation and utilities.
In addition to generating economic activity, early learning programs save businesses money by helping working families. This is significant when you consider that 65 percent of children in Montana have both or their only parent in the workforce. Getting a good start by finding a quality pre-kindergarten program is important!