Long Island business leaders met at CA Technologies in Islandia to show their support for the early education on Wednesday.
State Sen. John Flanagan and business leaders released the results of an America's Edge study that shows investing in high-quality early education and childcare has an immediate boost on New York business and produces long-term economic benefits by producing a more skilled workforce.
"It is clear that one of the most basic foundations for educational success is quality early care and education," Flanagan said. "While we have one of the best education systems in the nation, the America’s Edge report highlights the need to continue our commitment to our youngest students so we can help them become the leaders of tomorrow and give them the tools they need to be part of a highly skilled workforce in a growing global economy."
The study estimates by 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in New York will require post-secondary education but only 37 percent of public school students graduate high school "college and career ready."
Children enrolled in high-quality early learning programs are more likely to achieve academically and financially as adults, according to the study. The report found 31 percent are more likely to hold a job considered semi-skilled or higher, 36 percent earn more as adults, and they are four times more likely to have earned a college degree by age 30.
"The bottom line for New York businesses, including here on Long Island, is that we have to build an education infrastructure to ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for the future,” said Lisa Mars, CA Technologies' vice president for Human Resources, in a statement. “And the foundation of that infrastructure is high-quality early learning.”
Mars has led CA Technologies’ efforts to establish Montessori Child Care Centers at several campuses, including their Islandia location.
Business leaders read to children to show their support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's $25 million increase in funding for full-day kindergarten in high needs districts but urged this funding be used wisely to increase the access to and quality of these programs.