STATEHOUSE — State Representative Suzanne Crouch (R-Evansville) co-authored House Bill (HB) 1004, which passed out of the House yesterday with a 92 to 6 vote. HB 1004 establishes a Pre-K Voucher Pilot Program.
“Early childhood education offers many benefits to Hoosier families and Hoosier employers,” said Rep. Crouch. “The bottom line is that investing in high quality early learning makes great business sense for Indiana.”
A short-term benefit of HB 1004 will be a return on investment in high quality early childhood education ranging from $ 7 to $18 for each dollar invested. Current workers will be able to find and afford quality early care and education, making them more productive employees, and positively impacting their work absences.
Indiana companies will attract out-of-state employees who make the availability of early childhood education a key factor in their willingness to relocate. Our state will attract companies interested in start-ups or business expansion for which high-quality early childhood education is a prerequisite.
In the long term, workforces will be staffed by employees who have the necessary education for tomorrow’s tasks. Special education costs can be greatly reduced, and higher graduation rates reduce the likelihood of increased societal costs for incarceration, welfare or unemployment.
“This bill will pave the way for real and tangible economic development for Indiana,” said Rep. Crouch. “Southwest Indiana stands ready to actively participate in demonstrating the effectiveness of those investments.”
HB 1004 will now be sent to the Senate for further discussion.
Rep. Crouch (R-Evansville) represents portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties