House Concurrent Resolution No. 31




            Whereas, children deserve a healthy and safe beginning in life:

            (1) Prior to the age of three, 85% of a child's brain structure is formed;


            (2) The quality of early childhood programs affect the social, emotional, and academic outcomes of children; and


            Whereas, families are the first and most important teachers in a child's life. Sixty-four percent of mothers with children under the age of six and sixty percent of mothers with children under the age of two are employed outside the home:


            (1) Early childhood education programs allow parents to work and support their families;


            (2) Working families support Missouri's economy;


            (3) On average, children from birth to eight years of age spend 40 hours a week in early childhood programs;


            (4) The working poor cannot bear the cost of early education alone. An adequately funded child care subsidy program is necessary to support families' ability to secure early childhood services for their children; and


            Whereas, early childhood programs have a significant impact on the State's current and future economy, parents' ability to work, and the healthy development and school readiness of Missouri's young children:


            (1) Early childhood programs employ 34,000 people in 5,000 small businesses and supports 120,000 workers in other industries. Combined gross annual receipts total $635 million and 181,000 children are being prepared for long-term workplace success;


            (2) High-quality early childhood programs provide children with a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment, which helps them gain the skills needed for school and to become productive adults;


            (3) Research indicates a savings of $17 for every $1 spent on supporting children and families with well-designed programming; and


            Whereas, well-trained and adequately compensated early childhood professionals are critical to the provision of quality early learning experiences:


            (1) Teacher education is a vital aspect of quality early childhood programs, however, approximately 65% of Missouri's early childhood professionals do not have adequate formal education;


            (2) A stable workforce is crucial to ensure that young children's well being and development is supported through consistent teacher-child relationships. Therefore, measures must be taken to reduce the alarming 23% teacher turnover rate:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fourth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby support efforts to begin investing in children now because an investment in children and early childhood programs is an investment in Missouri's future.