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​Mecklenburg County Launches Study to Expand Early Childhood Education

10/27/2016

Early Education news conferenceMecklenburg County today launched a two-phase study to develop a process to expand access to early childhood education to significantly more children in the County. The initiative will include an initial feasibility study that will be followed by an implementation design study. 

“Research has proven that high-quality early childhood education is a primary factor in bringing identifiable, lasting benefits and substantial economic returns for families and communities,” said Trevor M. Fuller, chairman of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. “A commitment of this magnitude that begins the process toward Universal Pre-K can provide lifelong benefits where the return on investment may be calculated many times over."

Working collaboratively with the County and its Economic Opportunity Task Force, the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council (CELC) will fund the independent research study, which will be overseen by the County. The CELC is providing $500,000 to fund the study.

“Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s Opportunity Task Force research has focused on a number of issues related to economic advancement for families within our community, including the importance of early childhood education,” said Duke Energy chairman, president and CEO Lynn Good, who chairs the CELC. “The CELC is pleased to be a part of this important initiative to explore the expansion of this program.” 

The mission of the CELC is “to advocate for solutions that improve Charlotte’s economic vitality and quality of life,” according to its charter. The group was formed in 2015 by the top leaders of member companies, organizations and institutions. The Foundation for the Carolinas provides administrative and program support for the council.

Several communities across the country, including New York City, Denver, San Antonio, Seattle, Salt Lake City and others, have implemented early childhood education programs.