“The livelihoods of most people depends on their skills and the compensation they receive for them,” Nobel Laureate James Heckman told an audience in Monterey, Calif., last month.
About one out of six young Americans leave school without graduating, impacting the entire economy since high school graduates:
- have more skills
- earn more
- draw less government assistance
- are less likely to have criminal records
Parents as Teachers helps develop a future workforce that is skilled and globally competitive.
No, we’re not teaching statistics or physics. But we are laying the foundation for problem solving and social skills…skills required by 21st century jobs. We deliver children who:
- have better language skills
- are twice as likely to be reading-ready by kindergarten
- do better on standardized reading and math tests in second grade
- require half the rate of remedial and special education placements in third grade
The need for Parents as Teachers is growing.
So is the number of middle class Americans who are falling into poverty. Nationwide, the number of children living in an area of concentrated poverty has increased by 25 percent since 2000.
With your support, we can deliver the knowledge workers of tomorrow.
Find out how here.
Top photo used under Creative Commons license via besighyawn’s photostream.
Twenty-five million children under 5.
Twenty-five million potential new employees for U.S. businesses starved for skilled workers.
With 76 million baby boomers set to retire soon, there are not enough skilled workers to replace them. The estimated shortfall is 25 million workers. This shortage will result in intense future competition for workers and many jobs going unfilled.
The good news is the failing workforce pipeline can be repaired. The better news is that the solution offers an incredible return on investment—as much as 17:1 according to noted economists. If it was your business, where would you put your money?
The solution? Early childhood. Early experiences impact how we learn…and how much we earn.
The foundation of many skills needed for 21st century jobs, including problem solving and social skills, are established in the first five years of life. Each kind of brain development has a different window of opportunity for learning. Once the window for a particular ability has shut, it is much harder—if not nearly impossible—for a child to learn this skill.
So much of what a child learns when he enters school builds on the skills that are mastered while these windows for learning are open!
The window for investment is open now.
What’s holding you back?
Building a plan for economic recovery is a lot like parenting: there are many ways to go about it, but the best outcomes are the result of good advice and a strong circle of supporters.
A recent column in the Post-Dispatch called training the key to fueling recovery, noting employers’ concerns that there is a shortage of skilled workers. Training is certainly one strategy to develop a skilled workforce. But does it start early enough? Is there a way to start building workforce skills like curiosity and adapatability in addition to math, science and literacy skills even before the start of formal school?
James Heckman is a Nobel prize winner and noted economist at the University of Chicago who has devoted a good portion of his career to examining the link between early childhood and economic success. Can parents really have that much influence over a child’s future ability to earn a living? And if so, why aren’t more employers looking at supporting proven early childhood programs as a strategy toward economic recovery and building a trained workforce?
Michael Martin talked with Heckman on NPR. Heckman “found that the effectiveness of early intervention is much, much higher than many of the interventions that American society has traditionally adopted to try to remediate, to patch up, to fix the problems that arise from disadvantaged environments.”
There are many strategies already on the President’s economic recovery agenda. Support for early childhood programs like Parents as Teachers belongs there, too.
Ever hear of Eufaula, Alabama? Neither had I until I read the article by Tiffiny Woo in the Eufaula Tribune about Bob Powers, a city councilman there. According to Mr. Powers, the economic future begins in early childhood and he’s been on a major advocacy kick for Eufaula’s pre-kindergarten program. He’s spoken at regional and national events, to business people, and to government agencies in the nation’s capitol. Do you think he knows there are 19 Parents as Teachers programs in his state?
How many others put early education into workforce development discussions? Isn’t long-range planning a basic business strategy? Shouldn’t we be building tomorrows workforce from the ground up?
Even if you don’t live in Eufaula, let Bob Powers know you support his efforts. For that matter, let your own councilman, state legislators and Congressmen know, too. After all, it’s your future, too.