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Now for Later: A Campaign for Early Childhood Education in Missouri


What if we told you that by the time your baby was just nine months old, researchers would be able to see signs of a growing achievement gap between your son or daughter and his or her peers? That’s exactly what the research says.

The Office of Early and Extended Learning tells us that:

“Although evidence of the achievement gap can be identified among children as young as 9 months of age, recent research indicates most, if not all, of the achievement gap found at age 5 (at school entry) and at age 8 could be eliminated by an intensive two-year early childhood program for infants and toddlers.” (source)

Studies like these are evidence that early childhood education is important for Missouri’s children from birth through kindergarten. Kids who receive a good start in life are more likely to finish high school, score well on tests, and have positive attitudes about school. They’re also less like to suffer from substance abuse or to become criminals as adults. (source)

There are dozens of great programs in Missouri that help at-risk children, and many of those organizations are partners in a statewide early childhood education awareness campaign called Now for Later. These inter-agency partnerships are an important piece of the puzzle for improving early childhood education in Missouri.

According to Now for Later, “it’s bigger than just one agency or program. We must come together to create a coordinated system to invest in our children Now for Later.” (source)

Learn More: Download the Missouri Now for Later Brochure

The role of early childhood education isn’t relegated exclusively to teachers. Family members (including grandparents), community members, clergy, neighbors, and childcare providers are just a few people who can make small changes that could make a big difference for Missouri’s youngest learners.

The Now for Later campaign brings early childhood education resources and family support organizations together to help make sure Missouri’s children receive the educational foundation they need.

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Learn More About Early Childhood Education in Missouri:
The Missouri 10 by 20 Initiative
Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten in Missouri
Nixon Spells Out Plan to Boost Preschool Funding


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