September 26, 2018

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 26, Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson and local leaders will convene the Preschool for All Task Force charged with expanding access to early learning and preschool opportunities for children and families across Multnomah County.

The task force will provide recommendations on a feasible program model for Multnomah County, including the policy framework, program design and standards, workforce and infrastructure needs, and funding options.

Research shows that investing in early childhood learning returns up to $10 in benefits for every dollar spent. Preschool has also been shown to improve outcomes in school and strengthen children’s social, emotional and cognitive skills that prepare them for success in and outside of the classroom.

Task Force members include:

  • Parents

  • Elected officials

  • Early, K12 and higher education experts

  • Health and human services leaders

  • Community based organizations

  • Business and philanthropy figures

“All children in our community deserve the chance to enter kindergarten with the tools they need to learn, grow, and be successful,” said Commissioner Vega Pederson, who will chair the task force.  “Communities across the country are stepping up for their young children to increase access to preschool and early learning opportunities. Multnomah County can be the next to take this step and invest in our children — and in the future of our County.”

The coalition will meet starting in September 2018 and aim to conclude its work in June 2019. Members will explore a range of solutions including public policy, workforce and infrastructure improvements, and funding opportunities. Participants hope to produce a report that includes clear recommendations on how to strengthen the early childhood system in Multnomah County and significantly expand opportunities for children and families in our community.

"Preschool for All is simply the right idea at the right time,” said Mark Holloway, CEO of Social Venture Partners of Portland, and Vice Chair of the Task Force. “Parents want it. Research is crystal clear about its benefits. Thirty-three of the largest 40 cities in America have already done it. We just need to get it done in our community. That is our task and we're proud to be a leader in this work.”

Contact: Ryan Yambra, ryan.yambra@multco.us

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