Dear Pima County Board of Supervisors,
The undersigned organizations and community leaders urge you to support the Pima County Preschool Investment Proposal (PCPIP). PCPIP was drafted by a broad and diverse group of stakeholders including representatives from the business, public education, human services, early education and nonprofit sectors. For more than a decade, the state of Arizona has not meaningfully funded quality early childhood education. Only 1600 (of approximately 27,000) Pima County 3 and 4 year-olds are eligible for a DES child care subsidy. The current reimbursement rate for child-care is 19 years out of date and does not reflect the cost of providing high quality early childhood education, including child-care.
There is extensive evidence that high quality early childhood education is a community’s most significant investment in its future prosperity. Quality early childhood education ensures long term growth and economic development.The US Federal Reserve states that investments in quality early childhood education offer more than an 8 to 1 return by avoiding costs such as welfare and remedial education programs.
Quality early childhood education is important for all children and has the greatest impact on children from lower income families.
Teachers, school superintendents and other educators in Pima County recognize that children who attend high quality early education enter kindergarten ready to learn, are more likely to read at grade level, to graduate from high school and college, and save districts money otherwise required for remedial classes.
A growing number of communities in our region and across the country have figured out ways to provide quality early childhood education to their most vulnerable populations. PCPIP is designed to give Pima County’s children the same opportunities as children in other communities.
PCPIP will benefit children with brain and educational development, families will be able to work full time in stable employment, businesses will have a trained and capable workforce, and Pima County will save money. These benefits will give Pima County a competitive advantage to attract new economic growth opportunities. Maintaining and enhancing the economic health and welfare of Pima County residents and businesses will ensure long-term prosperity into the future.
Thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.