Early childhood education programs reach children when their brains are growing the most. Scientists know that 90 percent of a child's brain architecture is established before age 5. Everything they learn is built upon the strength of that architecture.Evidence shows early childhood programs equip at-risk children to succeed in school. The Kansas Legislature recognized the importance of these efforts when they created the Children's Initiative Fund (CIF) and designated early childhood education as the chief beneficiary of these dollars.CIF has responsibly funneled these dollars to evidence-based programs, like Early Head Start, Healthy Families and Pre-K services. However, because of the state's funding shortfall, legislators are proposing cutting as much as 45 percent from CIF programs to help solve the budget crisis.Everyone understands the need to share in solving our budget problems; however, it is unfair for children to take a disproportionate amount.Parents, grandparents and advocates for children need to contact their state legislators this week to remind them of the commitment Kansas has made to early childhood programs. Children need grown-ups who will speak up on behalf of their future.We cannot lose a generation of productive Kansans because of poor budget decisions. Time is running out; please take action now.Respectfully submitted,KAREN GRIFFITHS,NortonGriffiths is chairman of the Board of Directors for the Kansas Children's Service League in Norton.