This story is the last story in a six-part series about how little the United States invests in the education of young children. Read the whole series.
For the first time in U.S. history, Americans may be about to elect a president whose signature issue is early childhood.
“If we want our children to thrive in tomorrow’s economy, we must invest in our children’s future today, starting with our youngest learners, especially those from our most vulnerable and at-risk communities,” Hillary Clinton told The Hechinger Report in an exclusive email interview conducted through her campaign staff. “I’ve made a career out of fighting for children and families.” (The Hechinger Report produced this story in partnership with The Atlantic.)
And while that’s a great talking point, crafted by an experienced politician, it’s also true. Over the course of her 40-year career, Clinton has returned again and again to the trials and tribulations of the nation’s youngest. While at Yale Law School, she added an extra year to her studies to take courses in child development. As a young attorney, she worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, an advocacy group. As first lady of Arkansas, she introduced the state to home visiting, a service for expectant and new mothers that has been shown to help women living in poverty raise healthier, more academically prepared kids.