The First Five Years Fund and a diverse coalition of children’s advocacy groups, businesses and financial institutions, convened by Save the Children Action Network, have released a report with tax policy recommendations aimed at expanding access to high-quality early learning in the U.S. These recommendations could become part of comprehensive tax reform legislation planned by the new Congress and incoming Administration.
The group, called the Early Childhood Education Action Tank, first met last May and has met regularly since then to hammer out recommendations to expand early learning across the United States.
“America has moved beyond asking ‘if’ we should invest more in quality early childhood education,” said First Five Years Fund Executive Director Kris Perry. “We’ve reached the point of asking ‘how best’ to ensure more children have access to the early care and learning programs that have the potential change the course of their lives. Thanks to the leadership of Save the Children Action Network in convening the Action Tank, these recommendations offer real and innovative opportunities to allocate the resources needed to meet this challenge head on.”
In the report, the Early Childhood Education Action Tank proposes specific action to expand upon what is “right” with existing tax policy and create new incentives to promote federal, state, local and private collaboration in expanding access to early learning programs. It is also vital, according to the Action Tank report, that the federal government ensures any policies and programs are built on a high standard of quality to guarantee the best outcomes are achieved.
The recommendations will help break down the two greatest barriers to early childhood education: cost and lack of access to quality programs. In doing so, the nation would close a major gap in our social safety net and empower the next generation to achieve prosperity for themselves and their families to come.
The Action Tank’s specific recommendations include:
- Expand Tax Credits & Deductions
- Expand Municipal and Private Activity Bonds
- Social Impact Financing/Pay for Success
- Early Education/Higher Education Parity
- Expand the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program
- Pre-Kindergarten Scholarship Tax Credit
See the full report online here: https://savethechildrenactionnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/action-tank-white-paper.pdf