“The highest rate of return in early childhood development comes from investing as early as possible, from birth through age five, in disadvantaged families.” —James J. Heckman, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics.
"Please think of the children first. If you ever have anything to do with their entertainment, their food, their toys, their custody, their childcare, their health care, their education – listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first." –Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood
In one of the wealthiest states in the U.S., less than half the children enter kindergarten ready to learn. As a result, they are very likely to be playing catch-up with their peers for the rest of their lives.
Research and practice show us how to make sure all children–regardless of race, class, language, disability, or neighborhood–grow up ready to succeed. Like many states, Maryland has all of the necessary elements, but they are fragmented, not to scale, and of varying quality.
By interweaving home visiting, quality child care, and family support –while developing the birth-to-five workforce –Maryland Family Network is working to make our state the nation’s leader in early care and education. We provide funding, quality assurance services, and expertise to local networks of parents, child care providers, community-based organizations, political decision makers, and business and government leaders. These partnerships help with local system design decisions and to foster public will to sustain and replicate success.
Neuroscience tells us that the early years are the foundation for everything that comes after. Economics has shown that investment in quality early care and education returns huge dividends to us all. Let’s make a change.
Studies Show The Importance Of The First Five Years
Researchers and child development experts have studied the First Five Years and the benefits of investing in families with very young children.