The Oct. 24 Metro article “Forum airs mayoral hopefuls’ ideas about schools” did not mention perhaps the most important educational issue facing our next mayor and our city’s children: early childhood education. That’s because the mayoral candidates have neglected this critical issue. The District needs a mayor who will stand up for its youngest residents and their parents by working to build a system of early education from birth to age 5. High-quality early education provides the launching pad for success in school, and successful students lead to stronger communities.

Voters need to trust that our next mayor will continue our city’s leadership role in early childhood education. Investing in the District’s children starting at birth will go a long way to addressing the education and workforce issues that candidates have mentioned on the campaign trail. If candidates Muriel Bowser (D), David A. Catania (I) or Carol Schwartz (I) really want to transform public education, they would be wise to heed the overwhelming economic and cognitive research illustrating the importance of investments in early childhood education and make early learning a priority.

Pyper Davis, Washington

The writer is executive director of Educare DC.