The New York Times recently posted an op-ed on the dire need for investments in early education, penned by John E. Pepper, Jr. and James M. Zimmerman, former executives of Procter & Gamble and Macy’s, respectively. The op-ed mirrors another printed in The Boston Globe recently from the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children’s (BTWIC) board and committee members Jed Swan of Drydock Ventures and Ron Friedman of Richards Barry Joyce & Partners. With more and more members of the business community standing up, the message is becoming harder to ignore: early childhood education is in the best interest of the business community and the nation at large, and it needs to be available to every child.
“Capitalists for Preschool,” the NYT op-ed, highlights the urgency of the need, noting that China aims to offer 70% of its children three years of preschool, a move that will no doubt bolster and strengthen their future workforce. Meanwhile, the US debates the issue and slow progress, with critics saying benefits gained in pre-k peter out by 3 rd grade. Pepper and Zimmerman rebuke this notion, stating “this (the decrease in positive impacts) is mainly attributable to differences in the quality of preschool and of the schooling that follows – not a deficiency in preschool itself.”
We hope more “capitalists” will stand up and verbalize their support for increased investment in early education, particularly in Massachusetts.
We hope more “capitalists” will stand up and verbalize their support for increased investment in early education, particularly in Massachusetts. Their wisdom, culled from decades of leading various businesses to economic success, can change the conversation at the legislative level and lead to a revolution in the way the public views, and prioritizes, early education. Meanwhile, BTWIC will continue to engage our business leaders to support early education in Massachusetts.
Najeema Holas-Huggins is the Manager of Marketing and Associate Researcher for the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC). In this role, she’s worked for nearly four years to increase the visibility for BTWIC and its work and impact on children, families, and the early education field in Massachusetts through traditional marketing activities, social media, and donor cultivation. She has also co-authored multiple research reports, including BTWIC’s 2010 “Blueprint for Early Education Compensation Reform.”