04/11/2013 05:34 pm ET Updated Jun 11, 2013

Preschool Now!

President Obama's budget proposes a $75 billion investment over the next 10 years in preschool, home visits, early Head Start, and childcare. I could not be more enthusiastic about this critical investment in America's future. As I have written previously, funding early childhood education is a no-brainer: it's good for kids, families, schools, communities, and our future.

Long-term research on high-quality pre-K and early childhood programs find that these programs improved students' learning, increased their education levels and income as adults, and reduced unemployment, crime, and out-of-wedlock childbearing. And in the short-term, we know that kids out of preschool develop better language skills, score higher in school-readiness tests and have better social skills than similar students without preschool.

State preschool offerings vary considerably -- from impressive (and proven) universal preschool in Oklahoma to a disappointing lack of options in Arizona. That's why the president's plan makes so much sense: the federal government will support states in implementing proven early childhood programs or in supporting existing ones, but the details are very much up to the states.

Interested in reading more? Check out the First Five Years Fund's blog for more analysis. And stay tuned for how you, along with tens of thousands of Stand for Children supporters across the states, can help make the President's plan a reality.