LORA L. AND MARTN N. KELLEY FAMILY FOUNDATION TRUST
The Evidence is Clear
Children are learning at a rate far faster than at any other time in their lives. During these critical years, the architecture of the brain is literally being built. Children’s social-emotional, cognitive and physical growth is a result of the relationships they form with their caregivers. In order for their foundational development to be as robust as possible, it is important that the relationships they develop and the environment is which they live is safe, nurturing, consistent, loving, responsive and allows for rich experiences. When it comes to brain architecture, its better to get it right the first time than to fix it later.
Every parent, grandparent, and caring adult wants our children to be happy and healthy, to thrive, to grow, to learn, to be all that they can be. In order to realize this, a broad level of support is needed for children and families ranging from parent and caregiver education to affordable, quality childcare services. Many parents and caretakers are working as hard as they can to make sure that their little ones are supported and loved. But just like families work to support their children, so must our communities and government work to support our families. We must all be the fertile ground upon which our young people can grow and succeed.
Children that benefit from quality early development are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. They are better prepared to succeed in the workforce, more likely to purchase a home and are less likely to commit a violent crime or require public assistance. Parents whose kids are in quality early care programs are less likely to miss work and are more productive. Quality care in a community can help attract and retain better employees and businesses. Because of the downstream benefits to quality early care, we will have a better trained and educated workforce, will see decreased spending on social programs, lower crime rates, increased earnings and tax revenues and better civic engagement. Investing in children today not only saves money down the line; it also builds positive outcomes for generations to come.
Funders for Montana’s Children believes that our most precious resource is our children and that we must help support Montana families and communities that are working to foster quality opportunities for every child. We are dedicated to shaping Montana’s future in the most positive ways — by being conveners, connectors and communicators and by collaborative, targeted initiatives that strengthen resources that make a difference at the most critical times in a child’s life. We strive to bring together diverse stakeholders in order to have greater collective impact than any of us can achieve working independently.
Montana is poised at an important crossroads for the future of early childhood care and education in the state. Momentum for policy development and increased priority of early care at both a state and national level has never been greater. At this time, Funders for Montana’s Children seeks to spark dialogue and listen to communities about what early childhood policy directives are most needed in their communities as well as helping to educate the public, business leaders and policymakers on the critical role that quality early care and education plays in the lives of our children, families and society as a whole. By encouraging awareness and conversation we hope to increase diverse investment and grow quality development opportunities for Montana’s youngest citizens.