Born in the USA: An #ActForEarlyYears policy brief
Each year approximately 3.6 million children are born in the United States. Investment in these young children during the first five years of their lives, especially when they come from marginalized backgrounds, is perhaps the most important intervention that can ever be made – at the local, state and federal level – with long-lasting benefits for society and the economy.
For a child, the first five years are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This is when 90% of brain development occurs and patterns of learning and behavior are set for the future.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is being wasted for so many children on a national and global scale. When children are too young to voice their own opinion or stand up for themselves, the social safety net and general early years investment needed to ensure that every child everyone has an equal chance at the American dream are simply not in place. The result is a widening of the inequality gap and a failure to develop children’s full potential.