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BEST Business Engagement
First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission has launched a long-term strategy designed to inform and engage the business community in support of early childhood programs and services. This strategy is outlined in the BEST© Report, adopted by the First 5 Solano Commission. The goals of the BEST© Approach are to inform the business community about the economic benefits of early childhood investments, engage the business community in policy, regulatory and programmatic activities that benefit both businesses and the workforce, and partner with the business community in ways that promote the welfare of young children in Solano County.
"Change the First Five Years and You Change Everything" - video link
The data show that the greatest challenges facing our country – from school dropout rates, to crime to rising health-care costs, to the necessity of competing in the global marketplace – can only be met by focusing on the development of all our children, beginning at birth.
Research shows that the achievement gap appears long before children reach kindergarten – in fact is can become evident as early as age nine months. And at-risk children are:
- 25% more likely to drop out of school
- 40% more likely to become a teen parent
- 50% more likely to be placed in special education
- 60% more likely to never attend college
- 70% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime
Early childhood programs are the most cost-effective way to ensure the healthy development of children in poverty and offer the greatest returns to society. The following websites also have information on the importance of investing in children.
Bay Area Council
Bay Area Council Report
Key to Economic Success in the 21st Century: Investment in Early Childhood Programs
The Heckman Equation
Ounce of Prevention Fund