Fortunately, West Virginia is kind of a leader in early childhood education and the folks I work with are committed to taking it to the next level. I'm especially a fan of voluntary home visiting programs for pregnant women and parents of young children.
In this NY Times op-ed Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn lay out the case for early childhood education. Here's a sample:
One reason the United States has not made more progress against poverty is that our interventions come too late. If there’s one overarching lesson from the past few decades of research about how to break the cycles of poverty in the United States, it’s the power of parenting — and of intervening early, ideally in the first year or two of life or even before a child is born.I'm hoping we can make real progress on that in the coming year.