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In the Nation's Interest

Business Champions for the Advancement of Early Childhood Education Spotlight: Dan Rose, Rose Associates

by CED October 18, 2018

Dan Rose, Chairman of Rose Associates, is a Business Champion for CED's Early Education initiative which collaborates with business leaders and education experts to increase the quality, access, and affordability of early learning opportunities for all children across the country.

Below are some of his thoughts on the importance of early childhood education.

1. How did you become interested in early education?

After completing my Korean War service with the U.S. Air Force, I returned to New York in 1954 and was invited to join the Board of the YM&YWHA of the Bronx. The Board committee to which I was assigned was Education, and I initiated a well-received program for elementary school students. The impact on the children was electrifying, and I have been hooked ever since!

2. Why is being involved in early education important to you?

Through my philanthropic work in central Harlem over three decades, I have become convinced that—educationally speaking—the first 1,000 days are the most important in a child’s life, followed by the next few years. Widespread experience and research shows that a child performing below grade level by the third grade almost never catches up.

Simply stated, the most effective way of dealing with inequalities later in life is to focus on early childhood development. Along with helping the child to master the basic skills of reading, writing and counting, instilling self-confidence, self-discipline and high motivation is the best preparation for a productive and fulfilling life.

3. What role should business leaders and the business community have in early childhood education?

Effective early childhood education is of crucial importance in building a nation’s human capital, i.e. the skills, knowledge, habits and values reflected in national productivity and creativity. And the business community must play a leading role in assuring that America develops the human capital it needs.

4. How have early childhood education issues changed over time, and how can the business community help solve them?

It is only in recent years that the profound importance of early childhood education has become clear. Business leaders must help convince the public that early childhood education does not “cost” but that it “pays,” and that such investment in our human capital is crucial for our national well-being.

CED's spotlights reflect the views of the individual and/or company spotlighted and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of CED.