LEGO Foundation Commits to Invest in US Challenge
WASHINGTON, USA, 10 December 2014: The LEGO Foundation answers President Obama’s call to support high quality early childhood development through a new initiative supporting scalable and outstanding models in partnership with New Profit.
The LEGO Foundation has joined the launch of Invest in US, a national campaign and challenge issued today by President Barack Obama to business leaders, philanthropists, advocates and public officials to build a better nation through high-quality early childhood programs for children from birth to age five. The LEGO Foundation joins dozens of corporations, foundations and nonprofits that have also pledged significant commitments – financial and otherwise – to making sure that more children and communities have high quality early childhood education programs.
As part of Invest in US, the LEGO Foundation, in partnership with New Profit, is pledging a $5 million, three-year commitment to launch a new initiative to support scalable and outstanding models of early learning.
“We are proud to support the expansion of quality early childhood education programs across the U.S. so that all children have the opportunity to succeed in school and life,” said Sarah Wolman, Senior Director of Programmes & Partnerships,
LEGO Foundation. “At the LEGO Foundation, our aim is to build a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, life-long learners; and the returns on these investments are clear.”
The Invest in US challenge was announced by President Obama today at the White House Summit on Early Education. Organized by the First Five Years Fund and its philanthropic partners, Invest in US catalyzes the overwhelming cross-sector support for early childhood education.
In his last two State of the Union addresses, the President made early childhood education a key policy priority. Since his initial call to expand access to high-quality early childhood education to every child in America in his 2013 State of the Union Address, the President has proposed a series of new investments in early childhood education, and more than 30 states and cities have established new programs or expanded access to preschool. Just this year, the President told the nation that he would bring together elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists to galvanize efforts and help more children access the high-quality early childhood education they need. The Invest in US challenge answers that call.
Investment in early childhood development is a critical component of the LEGO Foundation’s mission to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow by finding ways to make lasting, sustained impact on the way children play and learn; and high-quality birth to five programs result in better education, health, social and economic outcomes. Education researchers, teachers, economists and public health experts agree that the foundation for success begins long before children enter formal K-12 schooling. Those committing to Invest in US are building a better nation by helping to create programs that develop strong children and families.
Invest in US also comes on the heels of growing public and private investment in early childhood development. In addition to the announcement of significant new private sector funding, the departments of Education and Health and Human Services announced $750 million in new grants for early learning programs. Numerous public leaders at the state and local level have also committed to making early childhood programs a policy priority.
Invest in US commitments are intended to:
- Strengthen public systems at the federal, state and local levels to ensure continuous quality improvements in parental education, home visiting, Early Head Start, quality child care, Head Start and preschool programs;
- Integrate health and developmental screenings with early learning to provide parents with the information they need to optimize their child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development;
- Improve the training, continuing education, professional development and living wages of early childhood educators;
- Support greater access to evidence-based programs that support parents and families in fostering their children’s development; and
- Promote and share ongoing program innovation and improvement, especially for those programs supporting parents and informal caregivers.
A full list of commitments announced Wednesday can be found at http://investinus.org/.
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About Invest in US
Invest in US is a challenge to public and private partners, business leaders, philanthropists, advocates, elected officials and you to build a better nation by expanding high-quality early childhood education programs for children from birth through age five. When we invest in them, we invest in us.
About the LEGO Foundation
The LEGO Foundation shares the mission of the LEGO Group: to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow. The Foundation is dedicated to build a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners. Its work is about re-defining play and re-imagining learning. In collaboration with thought leaders, influencers, educators and parents, the LEGO Foundation aims to equip, inspire and activate champions for play.