No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to explore the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for good in America today: early childhood education. Through poignant stories and surprising humor, the film lays out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, and reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for the country.
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There are 24 million children under the age of six in America today. Do you know how many of them have to be taken care of all day, every day by an adult?
All of them.
Who provides that care—and how they do it—is the most overlooked, underestimated, and potentially game-changing issue in America today. Directed by an award-winning team of filmmakers, No Small Matter is the first feature documentary to lay out the overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, and to reveal how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in an everyday crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for our country.
As with all early learning settings, the success of that classroom is the result of the relationships between the adults and the children. Like the kids, audiences will fall in love with Ms. Giannini, the wry, tattooed lead teacher of the “Yellow Room”, only to be heartbroken to learn that she’s leaving at the end of the school year because she simply can’t make ends meet, even with a second job as a bartender. The early learning workforce is among the most poorly paid in the country, making less on average than dog walkers and parking attendants. Ms. Giannini’s departure is a stark reminder that, first and foremost, investing in young children means investing in the people who teach and take care of them when their families can’t.
No Small Matter is unusual for an issue documentary in that there’s no real villain—unlike battles against Big Ag or Big Pharma, there’s no “Big Small Child” standing in the way of progress. Instead, the film is more an investment brief than an exposé, an argument that early childhood education is both the most powerful and the most plausible solution we have to begin to address a host of American problems.