As federal policymakers work on getting Louisiana and the rest of the country back up and running in the midst of the pandemic, they must recognize that early learning and childcare are vital to the long-term recovery of our country and communities.

Louisiana routinely ranks near the bottom of all 50 states on child education. This is due to the fact that many local families lack access to high-quality early child-care education, causing students to start their education journey behind their peers.

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan includes a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s childcare and early education system. Louisianans should rally around this plan to ensure Congress also gets on board.

Early developmental opportunities provide a foundation for children’s academic success, health and general well-being, as positive experiences support children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development.

Child care and early education are also crucial to sustaining a healthy national economy.

Low achievement in education leads to lowered economic prospects later in a child’s life. This results in a lack of social upward mobility throughout generations that can impact the local economy.

We must take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, and Louisiana’s congressional delegation should make common-sense investments in early education a priority by supporting the Build Back Better Plan.

SARAH WALSH

educator

Baton Rouge