The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood released for the first time Early Childhood Profiles on a county-by-county basis. This tool can help communities and schools assess progress and make plans to help youngsters entering kindergarten. We were happy to see that KIDS COUNT data, which we track and report annually, proved useful for these profiles. And the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood is to be commended for this effort. That is the good news.

The bad news is that because of recently announced cuts around child care supports and kinship care, it is almost inevitable that some vulnerable children across Kentucky will enter kindergarten less properly prepared to learn and succeed. The dramatic cuts will impact the very intellectual and emotional readiness that are prerequisites for success in school.

It is not too late. The Governor can re-prioritize resources and stand tall for kids just as he has done in so many areas before, such as access to the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program. These data portraits stand as a stark reminder that readiness to learn upon entering kindergarten is an investment we as a state must make. To allow the announced cuts to become a reality for Kentucky’s children is bad for them and bad for the Commonwealth! It is a penny-wise and pound-foolish proposition that needs to be turned on its head.