Last week President Obama announced the details of an ambitious early care and education plan. The comprehensive agenda is detailed in the White House Fact Sheet on President Obama’s Plan for Early Education for all Americans and includes:
“• Providing High-Quality Preschool for Every Child: The President is proposing a new federal-state partnership to provide all low- and moderate-income four-year old children with high-quality preschool, while also expanding these programs to reach additional children from middle class families and incentivizing full-day kindergarten policies. This investment – financed through a cost-sharing model with states – will help close America’s school readiness gap and ensure that children have the chance to enter kindergarten ready for success.
• Growing the Supply of Effective Early Learning Opportunities for Young Children: To expand high-quality early learning opportunities in the years before preschool, the President will call for a significant investment in a new Early Head Start-Child Care partnership. Competitive grants will support communities that expand the availability of Early Head Start and child care providers that can meet the highest standards of quality for infants and toddlers, serving children from birth through age 3.
• Extending and Expanding Evidence-Based, Voluntary Home Visiting: Voluntary home visiting programs enable nurses, social workers, and other professionals to connect families to services and educational support that will improve a child’s health, development, and ability to learn. President Obama has already committed $1.5 billion to expand home visitation to hundreds of thousands of America’s most vulnerable children and families across all 50 states. The President will pursue substantial investments to expand these important programs to reach additional families in need.”
Since we know early investment is critical to the healthy development of children and the strength of our country, the For Our Babies campaign is encouraged by the President’s close attention to early care and education. If you haven’t already signed the For Our Babies pledge, showing your support for the For Our Babies mission, please do so now. Get a few friends and colleagues to do the same. Now is the time to make our cry as loud as possible. Together we can make sure the needs of our youngest citizens continue to be heard!