The Helene Marks Early Start Foundation (HMESF) is guided by the belief that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. Investment in early childhood development directly correlates not only to the best interest of the child, but benefits the economy and our society. Data shows that quality early childhood education gives children the skills they need to do well in school, succeed as adolescents, and become productive adults.
In an article from February 2010 “Early Childhood Education Boosts Economy,” Stephen Raburn through his research demonstrates the payoff of investing in early childhood development. He states, “capable children become the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable society.” The Economic Policy Institute’s report, “Exceptional Returns: Economic, Fiscal, and Social Benefits of Investment in Early Childhood Development,” cited in the article, presents empirical calculations that show how early education programs can ultimately provide financial benefits to local governments, taxpayers and society “in general in the form of higher earnings and reduced crime.”
The report estimates:

  • A return of $8.74 for every $1 invested in quality early childhood education programming.
  • That ratio jumps to about $17 for every $1 spent specifically on the 20% of US children living in poverty.

(infographic from the First Five Years Fund)

By investing in early childhood education, we can improve lives, create more productive citizens, reduce budget deficits, and strengthen the economy.
Early education was put on the back-burner during this past presidential race, but with President Obama’s re-election, we’ve begun to shift gears from proposing the best ideas for early education to implementation.  President Obama’s platform stressed the importance of education, from early childcare to higher education.  He indicates that it is essential to fund early education programs, at a federal, state, and city-level.
HMESF believes that America’s success depends on the ability to give our children the best education possible. We seek to improve the quality of learning and available care and to broaden access for children, infants to age three, who need it most. Focusing our efforts in New York City, HMESF finds, funds, and fosters exemplary programs that offer children a healthy environment to achieve social and emotional well-being and academic success. The centers we support in NYC have effective caregivers and a strong structure, but often lack resources which can be an impediment to the success of the program. This is where HMESF is able to step in and support those high-quality centers that are lacking sufficient resources.
We feel that investing in literacy is pivotal to the children’s development in these centers.  Interacting with books at an early age is a critical step in the enhancement of pre-literacy skills, which, in turn, is the foundation upon which reading abilities are built. Our library initiative provides a collection of age-appropriate books to early-age child care and childhood education programs for children ranging from ages one to three years old. Our holiday book program featured donating a copy of Richie Frieman’s “Terple—Always Dream Bigger” to each child at our 21 centers through NYC.

Helene and Jaime Marks

HMESF was established in honor of Helene Marks, a generous and compassionate mother, wife,
and community leader, who worked tirelessly to improve the quality of affordable childcare. As we embark on our 5th Anniversary in March, we look forward to paying tribute to such an amazing woman and continuing our support of programs providing healthy learning environments for children ages 0-3. We are doing our part in making early childhood development a priority, but we must all work together to make this investment in early child care/education as precious as the children we want to support. Quality early childcare/education will present a cost-effective strategy producing the greatest gain: a bright future for our nation’s children.
Join us in our mission to support early childhood development as tribute to Helene Marks. For more information about HMESF, check out our website: Stay updated on all things early education/childcare-related and future HMESF events in NYC, by visiting our official blog and following us on Twitter and Facebook.

Helene Marks Early Start Foundation Mission:

We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to succeed.