Early Childhood Education: Invest Now, Save Later

Even with deep concern about the economy and budget deficits that can’t be ignored, we still need to think about making smart investments now.

One of the more important lessons I recall from my childhood is how to be smart with money. My father would say, “Being smart with your money today will benefit you tomorrow.” PNC’s Grow Up Great initiative is a model for making the most of a financial investment.

Just under ten years ago, PNC committed $100 million dollars to helping improve the lives of children ages birth through five, kicking off their Grow Up Great campaign. Almost ten years later and one-million children served, PNC is now ready to up the ante, more than doubling its contribution to the overall well-being of young children.

Recognizing the large impact their initiative has had and the importance of early childhood education, PNC announced this morning that they are dedicating an additional $250 million dollars over the next ten years to reach families, teachers and, most importantly, children.

With all the talk recently about the economy and the job market, what needs to be done now is simple to me. Everything ties to education, so investing today will benefit us all tomorrow. PNC Chairman and CEO James Rohr pointed out that every $1 invested in early childhood education saves $16 in welfare and incarceration. If we invest today in early education, we see the returns tomorrow as those children earn higher wages, have better health and are prepared to contribute to their communities.

The smartest thing to do right now is to invest in children! The young children we invest in today will be our leaders, our thinkers and, ultimately, will boost our economy.