Good News for District's Young Children

This week, more information on the President’s early learning initiative was announced in his budget proposal and it was all great news for young children! President Obama’s “significant investment in early learning” would increase federal spending by more than $75 billion over 10 years for a comprehensive birth-to-five plan, which includes provisions for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and their families.

The President’s proposal includes:

•    Expanding high-quality preschool for low- and moderate-income 4-year- olds through a federal-state partnership. This includes a $1.3 billion federal investment this year, with a total of $66 billion over the next decade.

•    Preschool development grants to ensure that these new preschools are of high quality. This proposed $750 million companion program will offer competitive grants.

•    Extend and expand evidence-based home visiting. An additional $11 billion would be allocated over the next 10 years.

•    Develop an Early Head Start-Child Care partnership. $1.4 billion would be earmarked to raise the quality of early learning environments for infants and toddlers.

•    Funding to improve child care quality.  An additional $200 million would be allocated to raise the level of quality throughout the child care system.

•    Increase child care access. $500 million would be used to increase child care access for 100,000 additional children.

It is wonderful to see young children’s issues take center stage in Washington as a budget priority. As more details emerge, we will be asking you to contact your members of Congress to support the President’s high-quality birth-to-five initiative. This is sure to be hard work, but the benefits for young children have the potential to be enormous – and it’s a fight we can win!

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