Letter to the editor: Prioritize early learning

To the editor:

As we enter this season of spreading joy and appreciation, I would like to give thanks to elected officials like Gov.-elect Laura Kelly who see investing in child care and early-childhood education as a priority. I have been able to witness firsthand the impact that quality early education can have on children, through my work as a teacher, coach and advocate in the field of early childhood.

As a volunteer with the Save the Children Action Network, I know how these investments can generate positive, long-term effects for children. A child’s brain is almost completely developed by age 5, which is a critical window for academic development and overall well-being. By enrolling children in high-quality early-learning programs at an early age, we can ensure they will get a strong start and learn at the same level as their peers.

In fact, early education is one of the best ways to lift kids out of poverty and prepare them for success in school and in life.

Now that the midterm elections are over, the time for legislating will soon be upon us. I urge the state Legislature to work with Gov.-elect Kelly to make child care and early-learning programs a top budget priority in 2019.

Kids may only be a quarter of our population, but they are 100 percent of our future.

Megan Smith,



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