A strong early learning system is a wise public investment, returning $3-$8 in long-term benefits for every dollar spent. High quality childcare and preschool programs enhance school readiness, reduce achievement gaps between privileged and disadvantaged children, and can even have lasting effects on learning, behavior, and health in adulthood. Reliable, affordable childcare is also a necessity for working parents. Results of a recent statewide assessment of availability, cost, and quality identified bright spots as well as critical needs in our early learning landscape. Come and learn about hallmarks of quality programs, which of our communities are childcare deserts, and resources for families.