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Letter to the Editor: 2016-03-25

All kids deserve a strong start to life.

By age 5, a child’s brain is already 90 percent developed, yet two out of five American children are not enrolled in preschool by this time.

Investments in high-quality early learning programs lay the foundation for success in school, career and life. It’s unacceptable that so many children don’t have access to the early education programs they need to thrive in the hopes of a successful future.

Congress is starting its work on the federal budget for 2017. As members debate which programs to fund and which ones to cut, we need to raise our voices on behalf of our children.

Here in the U.S., early education programs like Head Start help more than a million children start kindergarten ready to succeed. Programs like that are too crucial to risk funding cuts prompted by the government.

In fact, lawmakers should invest more funding in Head Start and other essential early learning programs, such as Early Head Start, Child Care Development Block Grants and Preschool Development Grants.

The type of environment and the quality of interaction children are exposed to during the first five years of life significantly influence the outcomes of their adult lives. That’s why I urge Sen. Durbin and Sen. Kirk to prioritize our kids and invest in these crucial early learning programs for our children.
Thank you!
Emily Formea

Sophomore political science major

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