Mayor Murray has introduced a resolution to the U.S. Conference of Mayors expressing a commitment to designating “the decade of 2015 – 2025 as an era of community focus in building an Early Learning Nation.”
“Cities throughout the nation are investing in their youth through early learning programs,” said Murray. “I saw this commitment through preschool visits in Boston and Jersey City earlier this year. In addition to seeing the value in person, I’ve read countless studies that show an early investment in our residents benefits every aspect of our community. I’m proud to have sponsored an early education funding plan in Seattle and look forward to working with mayors throughout the nation on this critical priority. ”
Fifteen mayors from around the country joined Murray by co-sponsoring this resolution. The resolution also has the support of the Bezos Family Foundation, which has had a vision of an early learning nation for many years.
“We greatly appreciate Mayor Murray’s leadership in sponsoring this resolution which is intended to secure a commitment from mayors around the country to build an early learning nation, starting in their communities. Children are born with enormous potential. However, far too often that potential is not realized. This commitment by our mayors to bring together the latest developments in brain science with community action will ensure our children are well equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century,” said Jackie Bezos, president of the Bezos Family Foundation. The Bezos Family Foundation partners with scientific institutions such as the Institute of Learning and Brain Science (I-LABS) at the University of Washington to help transform the latest research in child development into community action.
This resolution expresses a national commitment, through all local mayors, that children of Generation Alpha (babies born between 2010 – 2025) emerge equipped and prepared to resolve issues and assume leadership positions, while generating innovative and long-term solutions for previously intractable and seemingly unsolvable challenges.
Scientific research clearly shows positive parenting and caregiving in early childhood, starting at birth, is a key contributor to lifelong health and productivity and there is compelling evidence that the foundation for health or disease is established in early childhood – especially between birth and three years of age. High-quality early learning in these critical years has been proven to reduce placements in special education, reduce grade retention, boost graduation rates, decrease teen pregnancy rates, reduce violent crime, juvenile delinquency and incarceration, and increases the odds of long-term employment.
By passing this resolution, the members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors will be showing their commitment to providing unparalleled opportunities for the children of Generation Alpha.
Read the resolution here.
The resolution will be considered at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting scheduled for Dallas, Texas from June 20-23 as a part of its policy making process.