“The earlier we start with kids, the better off kids are. The research is pretty clear,” Riley said.
For Riley, the focus on early childhood development is akin to the American dream, he said.
“It only works if all kids start in the same place, if they have the access to a quality education, and until all our kids actually have the same opportunities as the kids in Andover, Methuen or North Andover, we’re not doing our jobs,” Riley said.
“Our kids in Lawrence, a lot of our kids come to this country expecting the American dream, and we’ve got to give it to them.”