The best way to build broad prosperity in our community is to invest in the education and well-being of our children during the critical early years. 90% of a child's brain is developed from birth to 5. Yet, in Orange County, almost half of children do not get the care and education they need, start kindergarten NOT READY, and often never catch up -- putting their future AND OURS at risk.
The pandemic has shined a spotlight on the fact that parents, especially women, need good and reliable childcare options so they can work and earn a living. Yet, childcare is unaffordable for most families, often costing more than rent or food. Subsidies to help families cover the cost of care and to pay teachers a living wage are inadequate.
Black and hispanic women and children and those from low-income families are less likely to have access to prenatal care, insurance, and quality early learning options. These children are more likely to enter kindergarten without what they need to succeed in school and in life. Addressing inequities in our society must start early!
Almost half of children start Kindergarten NOT READY, over two-thirds in low-income areas
Half of children are not reading on grade level by 3rd grade and are 4X's less likely to graduate
Childcare is unaffordable for most families, costing almost a third of their income
Half of families with children have limited or inconsistent access to healthcare
Almost a quarter of women have no access to pre-natal care, putting baby's health at risk
Half of families with young children struggle to meet basic needs -- even before COVID
"Investing in comprehensive 0-5 childhood education is a powerful and cost-effective way to mitigate negative consequences of poverty on child development and adult opportunity." James Heckman, Nobel prize-winning economist
Children who are NOT READY for Kindergarten and NOT READING on grade level by 3rd grade are 4X's more likely to drop out of school and more likely to...
Live in Poverty...
Have Poor Health...
70% of non-working parents say they do not work because of lack of childcare
26% of parents say they left their job because of childcare issues
Fiscal Cliff -- Parents avoid job advances to keep childcare subsidies
Starting early is the best way to prepare our future workforce to fill a widening skills gap.
60% of jobs will require degree or certification by 2025
48% of workers have degrees or certifications now
Almost half of jobs in Central Florida will be replaced or will require high-tech skills by 2039