Democrat Mike Blouin today said if he’s elected governor, he’d make a big investment in early childhood education. Blouin, a former state lawmaker and former classroom teacher, says studies show the most critical stage for brain development is between the ages of one and three.

When he taught fifth grade in Dubuque years ago, Blouin says “I knew by noon who was already so far behind they’d never catch up.” He says it wasn’t because they weren’t able or capable of learning, it was because they hadn’t had the early educational interaction so critical to education.

He says it’s time for a massive transformation that puts the focus and dollars into early childhood programs. Blouin says Iowa needs to enhance K-12, reinvigorate post-secondary education, and ensure seamless “lifelong learning” options.

Blouin says kids won’t have the best chance to succeed until we find ways to teach them from the very beginning. He accused legislative republicans of not taking education studies seriously enough and promised a big investment in early childhood education if elected governor. But he did not say how much that will cost.