The importance of early education is undeniable, and this morning, President Obama announced a $1 billion investment in early education programs. 

Philanthropists, business leaders, government officials, and advocates were urged to support the president’s latest venture, which will expand “Invest in US,” a new campaign devoted to raising awareness and improving educational opportunities for children nationwide.

“These champions of early childhood education are contributing toward new efforts across the country that will bring more children a critical opportunity for success in school and in life,” said Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund, partner of Invest in US, in a press release this morning.

Currently, $333 million have been privately invested in early education programs, but President Obama will increase that figure by $750 million in federal funds. 

Studies have shown time and time again the importance of early education, with the critical window starting as early as pregnancy and lasting through the age of 5.

“There’s still too many children in America that enter school not ready to learn, including more than half of disadvantaged children,” Perry said. “That’s why government at all levels, business leaders, philanthropy and the early childhood community must come together and continue to make investments that give all kids a strong start.”