Babies born today could graduate in the class of 2034. When should education begin to prepare these children to meet the 21st Century challenges that await them? The answer is now. Readiness to enter school, and reach each learning milestone thereafter, starts at birth.
Valley of the Sun United Way Focuses on the Entire Birth to Career Continuum:
After more than 90 years in the Valley, United Way has a proven record of success in early childhood learning. We’ve brought national programs such as Success by Six and Born Learning into our community. We’ve developed and distributed School Readiness Kits for parents and childcare providers. Additionally, we collaborate with First Things First to make quality childcare accessible to thousands of Arizona kids.
We’re the backbone of Thriving Together, an initiative focused on the birth-to-career success of 250,000 kids in our urban core. Our partners include elementary school districts, Phoenix Union High School District, charter schools, ASU, MCCC, business leaders, faith-based leaders and more – all focused on the birth to career continuum.
A paper published by Helios Education Foundation states:
Arizona now increasingly competes with a global array of economic rivals. If it is to develop, attract and retain well paying, high-skill industries that will pay good wages and enhance the quality of life for all Arizonans, the state must have a critical mass of trained workers and the promise of more to come.
Low educational achievement is usually linked to low earning power. [...] Less income means less purchasing power, which drags down overall economic growth and, consequently, tax revenues. Lower tax revenues means additional strains on state budgets and services.
Every $1 invested in early education yields $16 in return. Investing in quality early childhood programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers is the only proven strategy to produce such returns. It also correlates strongly to less crime and less dependence on social services later in life.
The trek to support student achievement through quality early childhood education – and beyond with United Way – is creating a more vibrant and successful future for everyone in our community. Visit ExpectMoreArizona.org/Progress to access the Arizona Education Progress Meter to support education in our community and help students succeed.