Strong Start Overview
What is Strong Start? The Strong Start Program is a program to elevate early childhood education in San Miguel County. The initiative was born out of the 2017 early childhood education mill levy, ballot issue 1A.
Strong Start is funded by a .75 mill levy; property is taxed at approximately $5.40 for $100,000 of assessed property.
How much funding does Strong Start receive? Strong Start receives approximately $600,000 annually for the mill levy, however this will change year to year based on the assessed value of properties.
What are the goals of Strong Start? Strong Start funds will be used to augment existing private and public funds in an effort to strengthen early childhood systems in the county.
Programs are currently under development to address four main goals:
Capacity building (increasing the number of children that childcare providers can serve at one time);
Recruitment, training and retention of early childhood professionals;
Support for improving the quality of early childhood care and education programs and facilities; and
Financial assistance to families so all children can receive early childhood care and education.
Why invest in early childhood? Research shows that high-quality early childhood care and education are imperative for a child’s future life success. Ninety percent (90%) of brain development occurs in the first five years, making these first five years the building blocks for the rest of a child’s life.
According to research by Nobel prize winning economist James Heckman, for every $1 invested in high quality early childhood, communities can expect to see a $13 return on investment.