If you want the best and brightest talent in your industry, then you need to invest in your employees early— as early as their first eight years of life. 

Investing in early childhood development does not have to be limited to personal advocacy. Caring for the world’s children is a moral and ethical pursuit, of course, but it’s also a sound economical pursuit. A business’s competitiveness as well as a nation’s global economic competitiveness are heavily dependent on the workforce’s talent pool. Within that talent pool, competition among candidates is increasing with every passing year as well; by 2020, approximately two thirds of jobs will require higher education. By not ensuring that more people across the globe are reaching higher education, let alone finishing grade school, businesses are hurting their own talent acquisition efforts. 

Some of the most necessary skills for success cannot be learned on the job. Typically referred to as “soft skills,” skills such as resilience, creativity, empathy, effective communication, and adaptability develop in early childhood, when the brain is forming the most synapses and learning at a faster rate than any other point in a person’s lifespan. For that reason, economically speaking, businesses will get the most “return on investment” by investing in early childhood development programs. Children who are socially well-developed and enter the education system ready to learn are on average more successful in adulthood and in learning job-specific skills in their careers. As beneficial as business-sponsored adult development programs can be, many people in the world will never have the opportunity to receive internships or fellowships if they are excluded from base level education. 

Doing the right thing for children now means doing the right thing for your business in the future.