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

Zoe Charlebois, 10, left, and Makayla Goshen, 10, laugh as they make their friendship first aid kits during the InspireHER event at Snohomish Boys & Girls Club on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 in Snohomish, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Editorial: For 75 years a safe place to hang out and more

The Boys Girls Clubs of Snohomish County have served the needs of kids and families for 75 years.

Editorial cartoons for Monday, May 17

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

In this Wednesday, March 24, 2021 image from video provided by Duke Health, Alejandra Gerardo, 9, looks up to her mom, Dr. Susanna Naggie, as she gets the first of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations during a clinical trial for children at Duke Health in Durham, N.C. In the U.S. and abroad, researchers are beginning to test younger and younger kids, to make sure the shots are safe and work for each age. (Shawn Rocco/Duke Health via AP)
Editorial: Parents have decision to make on vaccinating kids

With one vaccine now approved for kids 12 and older, parents shouldn’t wait for a school requirement.

Craig Jacobsen, a technician at Everett Transit, demonstrates how the electric buses are charged. The new system takes about four hours to charge the batteries. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)
Editorial: Get shovels ready for Biden’s transportation plans

The state and Sound Transit have work to do to benefit from Biden’s infrastructure investments.

toon mothers day
Editorial: What Mom really wants is help for her family

For Mother’s Day, how about backing proposals for equal pay, child care and family tax credits?

Saunders: Trump is running, regardless of outcome for GOP

If he dooms the GOP to failure and sows more discord among voters, he’s OK with that.

Comment: It’s not jobless benefits that keep workers at home

A glut of low-wage job openings isn’t a sign of American laziness; it’s a sign of self-preservation.

Comment: Cyberattacks affect more than just big corporations

Hackers are using ransomware against local governments, schools and others, costing them millions.

Support for 988 suicide hotline needed in state

May is Mental Health Month. By urging my public officials to prioritize… Continue reading

Most Read