Expanding early childhood education helps students later

The Legislature continues to grapple with McCleary. As a former legislator who represented the 21st District, I understand the challenge of balancing the budget while addressing the needs of K-12. As an employer, I know we need to do more in the early years because of the high return we’ll get on our “educational investment” in our youngest learners.

In Everett, only 36 percent of kindergartners enter school with math skills of a five-year-old. Yet we know that the number of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) students in the 2015-16 school year who scored at or above age level in early math rose by 310 percent from the beginning to end of the school year. Additionally, ECEAP students maintain those gains through their elementary school years.

Research spotlighted by the business-leader group ReadyNation shows that early exposure to a high-quality preschool can not only improve educational outcomes like better graduation rates, but also bolster employability by laying the foundation for skills these students will need in the workplace.

Today, 14 percent of people ages 16 to 24 are neither in school nor employed. An unprepared workforce is costing the nation $3.7 billion annually in remedial education services and lost wages.

Let’s expand access to ECEAP so more than 60 percent of our three- and four-year olds can have access. Currently, more than 300 eligible preschoolers are not getting access in Everett. Increased access to ECEAP will help our youngest learners get the strong start in school that they’ll need to boost our workforce and succeed in life.

Renee Radcliff Sinclair


Talk to us

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Monday, Feb. 6

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein received this card, by mail at her Everett home, from the Texas-based neo-Nazi organization Patriot Front.  The mail came in June, a month after Muhlstein wrote about the group's fliers being posted at Everett Community College and in her neighborhood.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)

(Dan Bates / The Herald)
Editorial: Treat violent extremism as the disease it is

The state Attorney General urges a commission to study a public health response to domestic terrorism.

Comment: End of covid emergency will carry costs for nearly all

Along with an end to free tests, the disease and its expenses will be treated like any other malady.

Comment: Wealth taxes carry too many drawbacks to help states

They discourage savings and investment and it’s difficult to set up a fair system of what they tax.

Comment: Biden’s stock market record pretty close to Trump’s

At similar points in their presidencies, most market measures show little difference between the two men.

Comment: Memphis officials can learn from Minneapolis’ mistakes

After the murder of George Floyd, there were promises of reform, but a lack of specifics stymied the effort.

Comment: Hounding justices’ spouses out of work step too far

Questioning the chief justice’s work as a legal recruiter serves no purpose toward the court’s ethics.

Photo Courtesy The Boeing Co.
On September 30, 1968, the first 747-100 rolled out of Boeing's Everett factory.
Editorial: What Boeing workers built beyond the 747

More than 50 years of building jets leaves an economic and cultural legacy for the city and county.

Marysville School District Superintendent Zac Robbins, who took his role as head of the district last year, speaks during an event kicking off a pro-levy campaign heading into a February election on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, at the Marysville Historical Society Museum in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Editorial: Voters have role in providing strong schools

A third levy failure for Marysville schools would cause even deeper cuts to what students are owed.

Most Read