Prominent business leaders gathered at Head Start in Missoula Wednesday to release a report from the business group America's Edge, that suggests quality early learning brings immediate and long-term economic benefits by increasing local business sales, creating jobs and growing the economy.

A member of the group, David Curry, tells NBC Montana, "America's Edge is a group of business leaders across the state from Libby all the way over to Sidney and from Malta down to Dillon.  Our main issue is early childhood education.  Right now, for every dollar that's spent on early childhood education, because it's so labor intensive, you get a dollar sixty one returned in the local economy."

America's Edge has 170 members in Montana.