A child's future starts with child care

Posted: Monday, May 01, 2000

We are four freshmen from the Phoenix Program and have spent a month researching a project entitled, ``How does quality of child care affect our children's future?''

There have been many studies taken that show how quality child care is so important. In one study, 57 children were put into a quality child-care center for the first five years of their lives, while 54 others were not put into any child care. The study followed the kids for 21 years, showing some amazing results. The children who were put into quality child-care centers had significantly higher language skills and math abilities. They also were more likely to attend a four-year college and get higher paying jobs.

The Working Women's Magazine rated the quality of child care in each state based on a five-star system. Alaska received only two stars. This doesn't say much for us about how we care for our children and our future. We should give more funding to Head Start programs, as well as to lower income families who might otherwise have to choose a substandard situation for their child.

Now, this would be expensive. However, consider it an investment. It will save money in the long run. Children who attend quality child-care facilities are less likely to drop out of high school, less likely to have children at an early age, and less likely to have learning disabilities. Think of how much money we will have to spend later on programs that help kids deal with these problems.

Please, support quality child care. If you can't afford to stay at home with your child, don't settle for anything but the best child-care facility.

Christa FagnantOlena LundquistStephanie OrsiMegan Kyle Juneau

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