A group of retired military officials wants to make sure that students are adequately prepared to enter and succeed in the U.S. Military. They are calling on state representatives to support funding for early childhood programs and quality daycare.
The group of retired military officials is called Mission Readiness. Their mission statement is to strengthen national security by ensuring kids stay in school, stay fit, and trouble free. They held a news conference in Springfield Wednesday.
Members said that 71 percent of young people cannot serve in the military for three reasons, they don't finish high school, they have criminal records and many are obese.
"These disqualifiers start early and the importance of children's earliest years just simply cannot be overstated. From birth to age 5 are the most critical years of any person's life," said Retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart.
The group said that many of the military facilities have childcare programs that provide valuable support to families of parents who are deployed. They've issued a report called Child Care and National Security.
It suggests there are strong links with success of children leading healthy lives who received early childhood education,