The hashtag “#PreKForAll” was trending on Twitter nationwide less than 30 minutes into the National Women’s Law Center’s “Tweetchat,” which encouraged conversation about the importance of high-quality early learning opportunities. The chat was held as part of this week’s national Early Learning Day of Action, which aimed to generate support for increased investments in these programs.

Senators Patty Murray, Dick Durbin and Kirsten Gillibrand, US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Director of the Office of Public Engagement Paulette Aniskoff all joined the conversation that would continue for hours beyond its allotted one-hour time slot.

Key questions focused on the return on investment from high-quality prekindergarten programs, the bipartisan support for early learning, and strategies for financing the increased investment. The hashtag “#PreKForAll” held the nation’s number four spot on Twitter’s trending list for over 45 minutes. In Washington, the hashtag snagged the number one spot.

President Obama joined the chat, asking his followers to “Retweet if you believe in #PreKForAll. The smartest investment we can make as a nation is in our children.” The President’s post was re-tweeted by over 4000 users.

With over 10,000 twitter users weighing in by the day’s end, this social media effort was hugely successful in prompting a nationwide discussion about early learning.

It will be important to continue this productive conversation with our federal policymakers. The positive impact that high-quality early learning opportunities have on improving young children’s life chances is clear. It is common sense that our lowest income children should have access to these programs to ensure that they have the strong start they need for a bright future.  

The public’s eagerness to share their support for early learning through social media is promising. All who tweeted (and those who didn’t!) should take the next step and ask your member of Congress to increase investments in early learning.