Mother & Child Health Coalition (MCHC) is proud to endorse the universal pre-K initiative that is on the ballot in Kansas City this April. As an organization committed to the health and well-being of our children from birth through adolescence, we know that investing in early childhood education is one of the most impactful actions we can take to improve the lives of all Kansas City kids. Ninety percent of a child’s brain development occurs before age five. Providing high-quality early learning for our four-year-olds will stimulate that development, putting them on the road to successful learning. Fifty percent of our children enter the public schools in Kansas City behind both academically and emotionally. High-quality Pre-K is a proven way to ensure that students start Kindergarten ready to learn, and sets them on a path for academic success.
The specific pre-K Kansas City proposal calls for a 3/8-cent sales tax earmarked for pre-K for a period of ten years. After ten years, the voters have an opportunity to continue or to end the investment. The money generated will go to increasing pre-K provider capacity and quality, as well as need-based tuition assistance. The plan is expected to fund access to early learning for eighty percent of four-year-olds in Kansas City. Currently, only 35 percent of four-year-olds are enrolled. Giving all of our four-year-olds access to early learning is key to reducing the disparities that exist in our city, setting them on a path to achievement, better health, and improved lives.