The Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Chamber Foundation believe that a quality education is the best way to ensure Florida students can compete in a global economy. Securing Florida’s future over the long-term means making the right policy choices in the short-term. To help in this arena, the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning identifies and tackles the challenges that will help tomorrow’s leaders succeed.
Early childhood education, particularly between ages 0-8, is essential for a child’s development of both cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Preparing our youngest students to learn provides a foundation for future success and helps them develop important skills such as self-discipline, persistence and cooperation–skills that are essential to their future success and a quality workforce.
In support of that initiative, the Florida Chamber co-hosted the Children’s Week Business Leaders Luncheon this month, along with The Children’s Movement of Florida, The Florida Council of 100, Florida TaxWatch, United Way and the Children’s Forum, to engage business leaders, legislators and community partners in a discussion about the importance of early learning.
Mike Fernandez, CEO of MBF Healthcare Partners and Founder of the Miami-Dade Early Childhood Initiative Foundation, was featured as our keynote speaker. Considered by many to be one of Florida’s most successful entrepreneurs, Fernandez spoke about investment in early childhood education and giving every child a chance for success. The luncheon concluded with an overview of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning and what the statewide network of business leaders is doing to affect education policy reform and investments in early childhood programs.
Consider these facts:
- Eighty-five percent of brain growth occurs by the time a child is three.
- Participants in early childhood learning programs are 80 percent more likely to attend college.
- High quality early childhood education programs increase employability by 23 percent
- Adults who attended early childhood programs earn 33 percent higher average salaries.
In a letter written after the luncheon, David Lawrence, Jr., Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida and one of Florida’s most respected early learning advocates, said, “For years children’s advocates have talked about the importance of the business community coming to the table on early learning. This week, the business community was fully seated at that table.”
The Florida Chamber Foundation encourages business leaders like you to join our Business Alliance for Early Learning. Businesses from around the state are tackling the Florida Chamber Foundation’s essential issues impacting Florida’s future talent pipeline. Join us as we engage businesses, families and community leaders in securing Florida’s future through creating America’s most aligned, quality early education initiative.
- Join the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning today and help plan for Florida’s education future.
- Watch videos from the 2015 Children’s Week Business Luncheon here.