I'm a big believer in the power of high-quality early childhood education and care. The achievement gap between low-income kids, children of color, and their peers emerges even before they enter kindergarten. Early childhood programs can narrow this gap and ensure that all Minnesota kids can start school on a level playing field. Not only are these programs great for kids, but they're also great for our budget. These programs save the government lots of money in the long run by decreasing the special education, drop-out, and delinquency rates of the students who attend the programs. That's why I'm a strong proponent of expanding access to high-quality early childhood programs like Head Start and Early Head Start.