In Virginia, ensuring the school readiness of our young children will enable them to become successful, engaged citizens who contribute to our economic prosperity and quality of life in the Commonwealth. Support for high-quality early childhood development is critical to the establishment of a competitive and future-ready workforce.

This imperative has been validated by numerous national studies. It is true for the children of Virginia and true for the children in Planning District 16.

We don’t have the workforce we need.

  • 20% of current workers are functionally illiterate.
  • Less than one-half of the children in every state are proficient in reading and math.
  • USA’s 15-year-olds ranked 25th out of 30 developed countries in math and 21st in science in 2006.
  • 54% of business leaders say they expect to have difficulty finding enough educated and skilled workers in the future.

Supporting early childhood education is a smart investment with a proven return.

When communities actively demonstrate their clear commitment to the school readiness of future workers, they are also sending a powerful signal to the workforce of today: we are a region poised for prosperity.

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