Make Sure the Earliest Environments Are Good Ones

When we get child development right, it is a foundation for community and economic development. The environments in children’s early years play a crucial role in the ongoing process of building young minds. That is why high quality child care has such a far-reaching impact on kids, communities, and schools alike.

Building prosperity for tomorrow’s Texas starts with building up our children for success. Science now shows that the environments where children first begin learning, including the child care settings where many spend a good part of their day, determine that success in ways not previously well understood. Unfortunately, the current child care system in Texas designed to provide child care services for low-income families can stand in the way of high-quality early education. Reimbursing child care services at a better rate would spur growth in the number of high-quality child care centers willing to serve low-income kids through our state’s child care subsidy system; increase the number of children enrolling in high quality centers; and lead to more young Texans entering kindergarten ready for school and success. The impact of an enhanced rate would grow if linked to an incentive system that considers quality measures.

To read and download the full policy brief click here.