Photo: Michele McDonald for Strategies for Children

More than 120 early education professionals and experts have signed an open letter that urges state lawmakers to increase their investment in early education.

“As Massachusetts legislators consider the state budget and investments in early education, we would like to highlight the widespread agreement among experts and researchers in the field about the effectiveness of such investments,” the letter says.

It goes on to point out that while: “Quality early childhood education can reduce the achievement gap.”

And: “Investing in quality early childhood education pays off.”

It is also unfortunately true that: “There are a number of pressing problems that undermine early education in Massachusetts.”

Among those who have signed the letter are professionals and experts we’ve blogged about before, including Anne Douglass of the University of Massachusetts Boston; preschool teacher Teddy Kokoros; and Jack Shonkoff of Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child. 

“Massachusetts should lead on education, but when it comes to early education, we’ve fallen behind,” Massachusetts Fair Share Director Nathan Proctor says. He helped launch the letter. “As state leaders have begun to take meaningful steps to help improve early learning programs, we’re hoping to bolster those efforts with the voices of experts. The science is clear: Quality early education programs produce better education, health, economic and social outcomes for children, families and the community.”

Be sure to share the letter with your state representatives. And please sign it if you’re an early education professional or expert.