Across the country, working families have one thing in common: a need to find safe, affordable, quality care for their children. In 35 states, the cost of childcare now exceeds public college tuition, pricing it beyond the reach of even many middle class families.

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In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama said "study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road." He's right. Children who are consistently intellectually stimulated in the first three years of their lives enjoy better outcomes later in life. Typically, they do better in school and enter higher paying careers.

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Pre-K Matters

It's a simple statement of fact, backed by the findings by hundreds of researchers over many years and the experiences of tens of thousands of educators. They are two words that should be at the top of the list of priorities for the U.S. government, Tennessee government, and our local governments. Those two words are also the title of a new infographic that makes the case for the importance of Pre-K and the dramatic returns on investments that it delivers.

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Pre-K Matters

You could probably guess that sending a child to pre-kindergarten results in better kindergarten readiness, improved vocabulary, and enhanced reading skills. But did you know that the benefits of Pre-K go far beyond their school years and into their adult lives? Starting at age four, nationwide studies reveal that investing early in a child's education by sending them to pre-kindergarten yields a long list of benefits that go beyond test scores, and into the very fabric of their — and our — futures.
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A New Year's Resolution

It's the time of year when we look back at the past year and make resolutions for the new one. It's no different at The Urban Child Institute, as we step back to consider what has been done for children's brain development in 2011 and what our plans will be for 2012.

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There are frequent conversations in Memphis about what our city brand should be. Some people suggest that it should be about transportation, other say logistics, and some say our river heritage. Those are important assets of Memphis, but they are things. They don't really speak directly to our community values and who we are as a people.

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