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Press Release: Business leaders highlight importance of early childhood programs in letter to United Nations on the sustainable development goals report

The following is a press release from our friends at ReadyNation. We are pleased that ICS Board Member Dick Wilkerson, former CEO and Chairman of Michelin NA, is a signatory to the open letter sent today the United Nations.

NEW YORK – Quality early childhood programs create the foundation for workforce productivity and economic prosperity around the globe.

That’s the message that the business leader group ReadyNation is sending to the United Nations in a new open letter released today.

The letter, signed by 51 business leaders spanning four continents, stresses the connection between quality early childhood programs and a host of beneficial outcomes. It urges the United Nations to prioritize early childhood programs in its final Sustainable Development Goals Report, to be released at the General Assembly this September.

ReadyNation members spoke out in support of the letter’s message. Former Procter & Gamble CEO John Pepper reiterated the importance of the issue. “Early childhood development is the compelling economic, social and moral issue of our time,” Pepper explained. “It helps provide all children with the opportunity they deserve to develop their natural abilities. It is also the most effective way to build the workforce and customer base we need. Investing in young children’s healthy development is a financial and social imperative for any country.”

In the letter, ReadyNation cites extensive research showing that high-quality, evidence-based investments in early childhood programs increase the chances that children will succeed in school and in life. ReadyNation’s Director Dr. Sara Watson points out that, “Starting children on the path to adult success helps create a well-trained workforce, which is a key component of addressing international priorities ranging from economic development to energy to conflict resolution.”

ReadyNation’s letter to the United Nations is an unmistakable signal that investing in early childhood programs is a growing priority for business leaders around the world.”

Gideon Badagawa, the Executive Director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda and another ReadyNation member, remarked “A commitment to high-quality early childhood programs should be a global priority. Research shows that such programs can yield positive results across diverse cultures and nations. We need to act now to start our youngest learners on the path to success.


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