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ernorship of Edward Rendell. The mission of this organization is to education programs help our youngest learners prepare them to be “make the success of every child one of Pennsylvania’s top economic successful in school and in life. priorities.” Through the help of business champions throughout When speaking with Julia, I learned she is a mother in addition to Pennsylvania, like Julia Klein here in Berks County, they have found being a highly successful business woman. She is passionate about through scientifically sound research that there is a strong connec- early childhood education because she sees the results not just in her tion between quality early childhood and a productive workforce own family, but in the lives of the people that work at CH Briggs. 15 to 20 years later. “We need to build a foundation at three and “When my staff is at work, they are most productive if they are not four years of age to ensure that our future workforce will have the concerned about their young children and feel comfortable that skills businesses need for economic growth,” according to Julia Klein. their children are in reliable early care and learning skills that will How can early learning help to build a foundation for a skilled work- help their children become successful many years later,” stated Julia. force? It all begins with the study “Early childhood education nurtures intellectual skills along of the brain. By age five, 90% of with motivation, attentiveness, self-control and sociability— a child’s brain is developed. Skills the character skills that turn knowledge into know-how and such as language, math, logic, relapeople into productive citizens. The type of citizens that we tionship-building, self-esteem, all all want working for our companies,” she added. begin at birth. Research also tells us when a child is denied quality To learn more about how you can get involved with the PA Early Learning Investment Commission early learning opportunities, or is visit their web site at www. Pa-elic.org. the victim of abuse or neglect, the brain suffers permanent damage. “Every child needs effective early childhood support—and at-risk children from disadvantaged environments are least likely to get them—yet often need them the most,” says Julia. We all know times have changed; many parents can no longer stay home with their young children. Now over 60% of Pennsylvania’s young children are in child care as their parents work, and nearly 10% of Pennsylvania’s school-age children participate in afterschool programs. Quality pre-school care is imperative. Based on Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Prize Laureate from the University of Chicago, we can expect a seven percent to 10 percent per year return on investment in quality early learning programs based on increased school and career achievement as well as reduced costs in remedial education, health and criminal justice system expenditures. As a banker I can tell you that is a good return on investment! How does the PA Early Learning Investment Commission foster early childhood development? According to Julia, members of the commission, across the state, lend their voice and share information about the importance of investing in early learning by speaking to various business and economic groups. In addition, they hold an annual economic summit on early childhood investment in Harrisburg. Each of the members also visit high quality early learning centers in their area to see firsthand how the early care and

“We need to build a foundation at three and four years of age to ensure that our future workforce will have the skills businesses need for economic growth.”

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Women2Women Spring 2014  
Women2Women Spring 2014