This 2018 election cycle is important, as all of our state’s administrative offices and up to one-third of our state legislature are up for election. From the Governor’s office down through many county and city officials, we want investments in young children and families to be a primary focus of those in leadership roles. Research proves that early investments pay huge dividends for years to come in better child and adult outcomes. Our message is to “invest in success, rather than paying for failure”.
Most of the concerns our state faces have their roots in early childhood when 90% of the brain is developed and when the potential for building a strong body, mind, and spirit are optimal. Our focus on building and strengthening families is a critical basis on which everything else is built; young children’s health (physical and mental) is a predictor of adult health and well-being outcomes; and high quality early learning experiences are the only proven way to bridge the wide gaps and disparities between what young children know and are prepared to do when they enter school.
Through the Blueprint for Zero to Five framework, a statewide advisory council studies the best data available on Alabama’s young children, examines best practices and successful programs, and establishes priorities for collectively working to improve the well-being of our youngest citizens. These priorities and the group’s recommended investments are included in the Blueprint for Strong Families, School Readiness, and Prosperity found at: http://www.smartstartalabama.org/about/zero-to-five/. We have also included some potential questions you might ask state and local candidates for public office. Your voice matters, and we hope you will promote what we believe are the investments needed to improve our state’s future. If you would like printed copies in folders to share with state and community leaders, groups in your community, or others who might promote our messages, please call 1-866-711-4025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.