"Throughout the three different tracks of the conference – early childhood development, community conditions, and education and workforce development – several reoccurring themes appeared:
- Early childhood experiences (neighborhood environment, parents’ income, school quality and other factors) have a huge impact on the development of kids and their health and success later in life. Investing in early childhood development is one of the best possible investments we can make, and attention to childhood development should begin very early on with things like prenatal care, home visiting programs, and cash supports for parents such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and child care subsidies.
- Early childhood education is not an inoculation. Kids need positive “booster shots” along the way – especially in adolescence, which is a critical time for development and growth.
- Policies need to improve opportunities for ALL low-income children and be racially and ethnically conscious.
- We need to both support and build the capabilities of adults who care for kids, and strengthen communities to support families raising kids under difficult circumstances."