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Report: CEOs Must Push for Investment in Early Education

A new report is calling upon CEOs and prominent business leaders to take the lead in pushing for investments in early-childhood education programs.

Increased involvement by these business leaders is the main recommendation of the report, "Unfinished Business: Continued Investment in Child Care and Early Education is Critical to Business and America's Future," released this week by the Committee of Economic Development, a Washington D.C.-based, business-led national policy group.

The report adds another voice to the growing chorus that investing in quality early education is the key to putting kids on the path to success, strengthening families and creating an educated workforce.

"As a nation, we have no greater moral imperative than to ensure that all of our children have access to quality early childhood education programming," James Rohr, chairman and CEO of PNC Financial Services Group Inc., and a CED trustee, said in a news release about the report. "Children who arrive at school ready to learn are more likely to graduate high school, go on to college, secure sound employment, contribute to the economy, and help to stabilize families and their communities."

The report is "less a collection of data and more a call to action for leaders from the public and private sectors to get involved and invested in that effort," he said.

CED has a long track record of working to increase the business community's involvement in expanding quality early-childhood education. But now the committee is calling for a "national strategy to ensure that all children have access to high-quality child care and early education from birth to 3rd grade that promotes their learning and development while strengthening and engaging families in their children's education," according to the report.

CEOs can get more involved, the report suggests, by using their power and influence to promote early-childhood investments at the local, state and national level; investing at least 1 percent of corporate earnings in public/private partnerships that support "early childhood" in their communities; and making their companies more family-friendly, including educating employees about "the importance of early childhood."

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