Early Childhood Education
The first years in a child’s life are critical to healthy brain development and future academic success. Research has shown that early childhood education significantly improves the educational success of children, with positive effects stretching into adulthood. Moreover, high-quality, targeted interventions—such as preschool or Head Start—save money by preventing future expenses for remedial education, incarceration and cash assistance. State Head Start Associations can provide support to Head Start grantees looking to integrate asset-building into their curriculum and provide financial education. Integrating asset-building programs, such as Children's Savings Accounts, can help parents and young children perceive college as a tangible goal for their child. Many Head Start programs partner with credit counseling agencies, Community Action Agencies and faith-based organizations to incorporate or expand financial education programming. States can also provide a supplemental Head Start grant to help programs meet the 20% match required by the federal government.