Early care and education

Impact of High-Quality Care

The importance of high-quality early care and education cannot be overstated. It is critical for the optimal, healthy development of our children and the economic
health of Wisconsin.


The first few years of a child’s life are a time when more than 1 million neural connections are being made every second in the brain. This underscores why high-quality child care is essential for infants and toddlers – it is care taking place during this critical period, therefore influencing their social, emotional and physical development.

At its core,

early childhood education impacts the healthy development of the young mind.

Our youngest children spend a majority of their waking hours in the care of early childhood professionals. In addition to being critical for brain development, child care plays a key role in a children’s future successes as adults. Positive, caring and healthy interaction with other children and adults sets children up to become productive members of their communities. 


there is a proven return on investment (ROI) in high-quality child care. Research shows high-quality birth-to-5 programs can deliver a 13 percent ROI, including strong outcomes in education, health, social behaviors and employment. 

This has an effect on more than just the child in child care – there also are proven two-generational long-term effects when a child receives quality early experiences, including increased employment, improved health and cognitive and emotional skills and lower criminal activity and violent crime in males. 

In Her Words

“Raising a healthy child is the foundation. As children grow up, you want them to have certain traits and skills, so when they go off into the world, they’re capable of handling themselves. I want so badly for my daughter to be social. I want her to be smart. I want her to really invest in her education and future.”


-Tia, Milwaukee

Dig In Further

The Science is Clear

Investments in early childhood development are the foundation of a healthy, sustainable society.

Return on Investment

Children experience improved outcomes when they receive high-quality early childhood education.