We know that what happens in the first five years of a child’s life is critical to their healthy development and to their chances of success in school and in life. Governor Bullock has committed to doing everything he can to provide more opportunities for high-quality early childhood experiences for all Montana children. Since taking office, more than 5000 children and their families have increased access to high quality early learning.
Montana is currently one of five states without a publicly funded pre-kindergarten option for four year-olds.
Studies have shown the benefits that high-quality, early childhood education has on student success. Children who take part in high-quality early childhood education programs are:
- More likely to read at grade level,
- Less likely to repeat a grade or require special education,
- More likely to earn a high school diploma,
- Less likely to become teenage parents, require public assistance, abuse drugs, or end up in jail.
In addition, these programs have been shown to help ensure that every child enters kindergarten ready to learn with appropriate social and behavioral habits that will allow teachers to focus on teaching rather than managing distractions.
High-quality early childhood education programs have shown a significant economic impact as well. On average, for every dollar spent on these programs, communities see a $7-$9 return on investment through savings and increased economic activity.