1. A parent is a child's first teacher. Strengthening the roles of parents and caregivers in preparing a child for school is the best approach to reach all children.
2. Early years count. A child's brain is mostly "wired" by age 4, critical to school and life success thereafter.
3. Language lag. Children of poor familes hear up to 30 million words less than middle-class children before entering kindergarten, limiting pre-reading skills and early proficiency.
4. Environment matter. Young children have core health, nurture, and interaction needs that must be met to stimulate optimal brain growth and ensure school readiness.
5. Quality childcare is paramount. Three decades of research tells us that quality early experiences matter, both at home and in child care settings. Poor quality enviroments can actually harm a child.
6. Investments pay off. Investments in the early years make economic sense in the long term, both for the child and the public. For every $1 invested in quality early intervention, $12 in savings is reaped through lower retention, remediation, special services costs.
7. School readiness is multidemensional. A child's ability to succeed in school depends on cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. School readiness is not a "score" but a profile of these domains.