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Early Childhood Matters

A child’s future is molded in the first few years of life.

Research has shown that experiences children have in the first three years of life significantly impact the physical structure of the brain and a child’s ability to learn.

By the time children enter school, brain development is 90% complete. Increasing accessibility to high-quality care supports this development. In addition to the individual and family unit, investing in children benefits the entire community. High-quality experiences before entering the K-12 education system has demonstrated a return on investment ranging from $7 to $17 for every dollar spent. According to this study, increased likelihood of graduating high school, employment with higher annual earnings, having a savings account, and owning a home are just a few of the positive outcomes that accompany an early investment.

  • Advance equity
  • Improve health outcomes
  • Bolster the economy

For these reasons, PCF advocates for improved working conditions, professional development opportunities, and quality improvement coaching for early childhood educators. Visit our guiding framework to learn more these efforts.


Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child and the Interactive Media Division of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California joined forces to create a tool to visualize the importance of early childhood.