As the single parent of two grown children, I understand the vital importance that early childhood education plays in raising kids. Since I had to work to support my family, finding excellent preschool options was of paramount concern to me.

Gov. Steve Bullock’s Early Edge program will provide the option of public, high-quality preschool to every Montana family. At a time when too many Missoula families face long waiting lists at Head Start and pay as much as their mortgage for private preschool, we can and must do better for all of our children.

Preschool provides a crucial foundation to make sure kids show up to kindergarten ready, from day one, to learn. Pre-K is tied to higher high school graduation rates, better test scores and reduced criminal activity. Pre-K is also an important workforce development strategy for Montana, which is why chambers of commerce across the state, including Missoula’s, have endorsed it. Montana is one of just eight states without public pre-K, and in order to make sure our kids are prepared to compete in the global economy, each one of them should have this important opportunity.

Early Edge should be a nonpartisan no-brainer, and if you agree, please join me in supporting www.earlyedgeaction.org and contact your legislators today.

Mary Windecker,

Missoula

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