Florida Chamber Co-Hosts Childhood Education

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.


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The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line Featuring Ted Granger

United Way of Florida President Ted Granger Discusses Poverty, Prosperity and Minimum Wage on the Latest Edition of The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line

Economic prosperity is the topic of discussion on the latest edition of The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line.

United Way of Florida President Ted Granger explains that businesses and chambers of commerce are already active in their communities and helping those in need.

And he says that there are opportunities for system changes to help Florida families become more financially secure but raising the minimum wage isn’t one of them.

 “[A raise in minimum wage] is not going to solve the problem at all. If you look at the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, the difference between what folks are making and the actual cost of living would require a minimum wage that is so much, it would drive our businesses out of business,” said Granger. “The real issues are systems issues…How can we, creatively, address some of the transportation issues, which is almost always the No.1 issue for the ALICE group, to help them to continue to succeed and work?”

The Florida Chamber believes in a robust free enterprise system, and Florida is on the path to prosperity with record private-sector job creation and its focus on creating high-wage jobs.


Get Involved:

The Florida prosperity project will be featured at the Future of Florida Forum. Join us on September 29 – October 1 in Orlando to discuss this and other topics focused on moving Florida forward…faster. The ALICE Report is expected to be released in November.


The Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line is a web-based program featuring key figures from Florida’s corridors of power. Hosting the conversation with Ted Granger is Florida Chamber Foundation Executive Vice President Tony Carvajal.