To the Editor:
I am excited to welcome South Carolina state legislators back to session. As a South Carolinian who has dedicated her life to children’s early development, I am especially thrilled to hear about the governor’s plans to expand 4K to all low-income children across South Carolina.
I am a retired public school teacher and early childhood consultant, currently serving as Executive Director for Dorchester County First Steps, and I am an advocate for Save the Children Action Network (SCAN). Therefore, I constantly witness the positive impact early learning has on a child’s development. Investing in early childhood education – which includes evidence-based home visiting, high-quality pre-K and affordable child care programs for children from birth until age 5 – paves the way for a child’s future success in school and in life.
Children who are not exposed to early learning opportunities before age 5 are left at a distinct disadvantage. Research proves this, as well. Children who receive a quality early education are 20 percent more likely to graduate from high school and will go on to earn, on average, 50 percent more than their peers who did not receive a quality early childhood education.
Early education is a bipartisan issue that each and every South Carolinian has a vested interest in. Now is the time to prioritize kids – investing in kids is an investment in our future.
Dr. Crystal Y. Campbell