The majority of brain development occurs in the first 2,000 days, creating the foundation for all future learning. Buncombe Partnership for Children is the local leader of this statewide initiative led by the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation. For more information on this initiative, visit the First 2,000 days website.
Why invest in the First 2,000 Days?
For optimal development and a strong foundation, children need good health, strong families, and high quality early learning and school experiences.
Everyone can get involved.
- Locally and, nationally, sheriffs and police officers are advocating for high-quality early childhood programs as a key component of crime prevention.
- Military leaders have made the link between early childhood and military readiness, and are calling for smart investments in children.
- Local business leaders and those in cities across the country recognize investing in early education is critical to building a well-educated, competitive workforce. “Early childhood care is not just a women’s issue; it’s an issue of business,” said Chamber President and CEO and Kit Cramer, who will be serving on Family Forward NC Advisory Council. “We can best meet our state’s future talent needs by investing in helping parents provide quality early care experiences for children.”
Champions support the campaign by:
- Speaking at local organizations such as the Asheville Chamber, Kiwanis/Rotary Club meetings, or at business lunch and learns
- Writing letters to the editors of local papers
- Meeting with local legislators; and promoting the importance of the first 2,000 days in their professional and personal networks.
Early Child Development Investments Produce Results!
Decades of research has identified programs proven to work with young children.
Higher Reading & Math Scores
A 2011 Duke University study found children had higher third grade reading and math scores in counties that received more funding for Smart Start and NC PreK when those children were younger.
Higher Graduation Rates
High quality early childhood programs increase graduation rates by as much as 44%.
A study of children who participated in the Carolina Abecedarian early learning program found participants experienced fewer illnesses as adults, made healthier lifestyle choices, had lower rates of high blood pressure and had significantly lower risk of heart disease than the control group that did not participate.
Voluntary home visiting program reduce health care costs, improve school readiness and success, reduce needs for remedial education and increase family self-sufficiency. Participants in high quality early childhood programs pay more taxes and are less likely to rely on government assistance.
At-risk children who participated in a high quality early childhood program were more likely to be employed and earned 33% higher average salaries.
At-risk children who participated in a high quality early childhood program were significantly less likely to be arrested for a violent crime by age 18.
7-10% Return on Investment
Every dollar invested in early childhood education produces a 7-10% annual return.
Buncombe County Champions for Children
Leslie Anderson, Leslie Anderson Consulting, Inc.
Melissa Baker, MAHEC
Barbara Brownsmith Campbell, Community Volunteer
Kit Cramer, Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Suzanne DeFerie, First Bank
Ret. Sheriff Jack Van Duncan, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
Jennie Eblen, Eblen Short Stop Stores
Lael Gray, Asheville Jewish Community Center
Gibbie Harris, Community Volunteer
Lori Hilliard, Buncombe County Schools
Holly Jones, Former Buncombe County Commissioner
Julie Klipp Nicholson, Buncombe County Family Justice Center
Missy Sherburne, Tinkergarten
Susanne Swanger, Buncombe County Schools
Terry Van Duyn, North Carolina Senator
Mike Weizman, MD, Our Family Doctor
For more information on how you can be a champion for children, please contact Ben Fehsenfeld, our Fund Development & Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 828.407.2064.