Legislators need to invest in our children, the future workforce

Posted: Mar. 8, 2013 10:24 am Updated: Apr. 9, 2013 12:15 pm


To The Herald-Whig:

I am disappointed to see erosion of progress of providing high-quality preschool to families that need it in Adams County (Adams County, Ill., gets mixed reviews in Kids Count 2013 Report," Feb. 14.) In addition to being an investment with a high rate of return early care and education sets a strong foundation for future success.

During preschool, kids begin to develop skills that will carry them throughout their education and even their careers. While kids in preschool do learn to recognize letters and are introduced to math, it's learning the soft skills of communication, collaboration and critical thinking that have the most lasting impact on these very young people. Preschoolers learn to share, work as a team and think critically to solve problems. These are the skills employers need on their staff.

Strengthening these skills when kids are young encourages future success. Long-term studies of preschool have shown that at-risk students who attend quality preschool are more likely to graduate from high school, attend college and have higher lifetime earnings.

With so many benefits, I hope our state legislators prioritize this impact investment. Our community and future workforce cannot afford for them not to.


Brian Hendrian

Market president

Bank of Springfield